The aim of this study is to explore the challenges facing community-based intervention programs designed for justice-involved young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted four focus groups with practitioners working in community-based intervention programs at the onset and decline of the pandemic in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021, respectively. The results suggest that there was ample preparation for programs earlier during the pandemic but that unforeseen challenges still arose. Moreover, the results obtained from the second round of focus groups, which coincided with the rollout of the vaccines, suggest that practitioners had to be creative to accomplish organizational goals during the pandemic. They also suggest that, for the sake of future practice, much can be learned from the experience of working to rehabilitate justice-involved minority youth during the pandemic. Feedback from practitioners can help identify recommendations for community-based interventions in the future.

Author Bio

Darren R. Beneby, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at North Carolina Central University. Dr. Beneby's current research examines community corrections, criminological theory, and the punitive social control of African American youth with special attention to the intersection of racialized criminalization across social institutions.

Jonathan W. Glenn, Ph.D., serves as the Associate Director of the Juvenile Justice Institute at North Carolina Central University. His research interests include racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system, criminal justice quality control, and health disparities in criminal justice. He has published papers on school resource officers, implicit bias, and the hypercriminalization of minority youth.

Document Type

Original Research Article

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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