Isolated and scared: The plight of juveniles locked up during the coronavirus pandemic
Arjanae Avula talks to her younger brother twice a week. Phone calls last about three minutes before they’re cut off. During their last conversation, she said, he was crying.
“When am I going to get out of here? ... Do you know anything? Can you talk to anybody?” Avula recalled him asking.
Her 18-year-old brother is at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center, a coronavirus hot spot near Richmond, Virginia, where 26 youths and 10 employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Youths at Bon Air have been locked in cells no bigger than a bathroom for 23 hours a day, families and attorneys said. They’re allowed one hour to either shower, brush their teeth or call home. Classes have been canceled, and they have little to no human interactions.