Executive unveils stronger community-centered response for youth and families in crisis

Following through on his promise to push forward the best ideas in juvenile justice reform, King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced a plan to divert more young people from detention by providing 24/7 community-based services and short-term emergency housing for at risk youth and those involved in the justice system.

This Saturday: Join community conversation on juvenile justice reform

On Saturday, Jan. 14, join United Way, King County and the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) in a community conversation focused on restorative justice and alternatives to traditional juvenile justice system practices. What: We Have a Dream: Strengthening Community and the Futures of Our Youth through Storytelling When: Saturday, Jan. 14, 1 – 4 p.m. Where: Youngstown Cultural…

Peacemaking circle pilot shows new path for juvenile justice

King County Juvenile Court and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tried its first felony case through a peacemaking circle, which incorporated victim advocates, mentors, family members and community leaders through months of what became a transformative mediation. A moderator who led a peacemaking circle movement in Boston is growing the practice here in King County.  A…

New restorative services center for youth offers alternative to detention

Youth involved in domestic violence incidents now have an alternative to detention that offers them a chance to cool off before engaging in counseling services with their families: The Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) Center. Youth and juvenile justice reform advocates celebrated the opening of a new alternative to detention this month with the…

New domestic-violence intervention reduces juvenile detention stays

Before the Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) program launched this year, the King County Prosecuting Attorney Office’s options for helping families coping with domestic violence were too limited. About a third of juvenile detention bookings in recent years have involved youth committing violence against a family member. In addition to having a detention stay,…

Q & A with Garfield High restorative justice youth mediator Michael Greenstein

When King County Juvenile Court diverted a young offender into one of its first Restorative Mediation sessions, he didn’t face a room of adults alone. Garfield High senior Michael Greenstein introduced himself to the teen, who was about to apologize to the victims he had assisted in burglarizing for the first time. The mediation would last about an hour…

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN.11: Free Restorative Justice training for King County high-school students

Teen mediators have been a key component of a restorative justice practice that started with a small group of Garfield High students trying to reduce school suspensions. The practice recently expanded into a King County Juvenile Court pilot program for juvenile offenders, and the County is looking for more high school student mediators to contribute to…