Remote delivery of a therapeutic intervention to court-mandated youths of Haitian descent during COVID-19

Louis Herns Marcelin, Toni Cela, Richard Dembo, Michèle Jean-Gilles, Bryan Page, Danna Demezier, Roy Clement, Rachel Waldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The threat generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered sudden institutional changes in an effort to reduce viral spread. Restrictions on group gatherings and in-person engagement have increased the demand for remote service delivery. These restrictions have also affected the delivery of court-mandated interventions. However, much of the literature has focused on populations that voluntarily seek out face-to-face medical care or mental health services, whereas insufficient attention has been paid to telehealth engagement of court-mandated populations. This article draws on data gathered on an NIH/NIDA-funded study intervention implemented with juvenile justice-involved youths of Haitian heritage in Miami-Dade County, Florida, during the COVID-19 public health crisis. We explore the process of obtaining consent, technological access issues, managing privacy, and other challenges associated with remote delivery of family-based therapy to juvenile justice-involved youth. Our aim is to provide some insights for consideration by therapists, healthcare workers, advocates, researchers, and policymakers tasked with finding alternative and safer ways to engage nontraditional populations in health services. The clinical trial registration number is NCT03876171.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2938-2958
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • COVID-19
  • mental health
  • remote service delivery
  • telehealth
  • youth of Haitian heritage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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