We’re starting a new conversation about how we can work together to further reduce the juvenile detention population in King County, and the growing racial disparities within this system.
This conversation is just beginning between the County and local police departments, school districts, non-profits, and community organizations.
It begins with new goals to limit the use of secure detention for youth:
- King County Executive Dow Constantine has committed to a cap of 112 detention beds at the smaller, replacement detention facility approved by voters.
- King County Superior Court leadership has set a goal of cutting in half the number of youth admitted to detention for probation violations by April 2016.
- King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Joe McDermott, and Dave Upthegrove have proposed an investment of more than $4 million in programs aimed at keeping more youth, especially those in South King County, on a positive educational and economic track.
- King County released a report detailing the data-informed public engagement plan we’ll have with several communities over the next year in an effort to find long-term solutions to racial disparities in detention.
This is what people are saying so far about our plans:
- The Seattle Times: King County Makes Progress on Youth Incarceration
- 3 KBCS: King County Responds to Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System
- The Seattle Times: Kids, Jails a Bad Combination; Society Can Do Better
- South Seattle Emerald: Op-Ed by King County Executive Dow Constantine: We Must Make the Justice System Impervious to Bias
- Seattle PI: Judge: Racism ‘A Fact of Life’ in King County Juvenile Justice System
- The Stranger: King County Will Reduce Number of Beds in New Juvenile Detention Center by One Fourth, Bowing to Protests
- Kent Reporter: King County Aims to Root Out Racial Disparity in Juvenile Justice System
- Capitol Hill Seattle Blog: Judges, Officials Vow to Reduce County’s Youth Detentions
- The Seattle Times: New Juvenile Jail: Fewer Beds, More Help Keeping Kids Out
- Org: A Modest Win Against Youth Incarceration
- KUOW.ORG: Locked-Up Kids Will Have More Options, King County Says
Check back here and follow us on Twitter @kcyouthjustice for regular updates on what King County is doing to convene a broad-based, data-driven, and community-informed effort to keep as many youth as possible out of the criminal justice system.