Several juveniles detained in Pennsylvania filed for release for themselves and others similarly situated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The court denied release, but instructed lower courts to ensure the threat posed by COVID-19 is addressed and limit the introduction of new juveniles into the juvenile detention system during the pandemic. The court also clarified that the lower courts have authority to review existing orders of delinquency, detention, and custody.
In re: C.Z., No. 24 EM 2020, 2020 WL 3263364 (Pa. Apr. 7, 2020)
Type of Court
State Highest Court
Type of Case
Compassionate Release Case
Case Tracking Number
24 EM 2020
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District
Place of Incarceration
Pa. Const. art. V, § 10(a)
Pennsylvania Rule of Judicial Administration 1952(A)
Improved Conditions Ordered
"Accordingly, we DIRECT President Judges, or their designees, to engage with all relevant county stakeholders to review immediately the current capabilities of residential placements within their counties where judges have placed juveniles to address the spread of COVID-19. President Judges should also consult with relevant county stakeholders to identify juveniles and/or classes of juveniles for potential release from placement to reduce the current and future populations of the institutions during this public health crisis with careful regard for the individual circumstances of juveniles in placement as well as their safety and the public’s safety with awareness of any statutory rights of victims. Moreover, consistent with these considerations, judges are to undertake efforts to limit the introduction of new juveniles into the juvenile detention system during the COVID-19 pandemic." And county courts can review juvenile delinquency detention; juvenile emergency shelter and detention hearings; and emergency petitions for child custody.
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.