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juvenile crime

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Rhonda Berry at a press conference announcing the intent to move youth detention oversight to Public Health Seattle King County.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

King County Executive Dow Constantine is making a change he says will help the county with its effort to dramatically reduce the practice of detaining young people arrested for crimes.

Constantine signed an executive order Thursday moving oversight of youth detention to Public Health Seattle King County.

Claudia Pineda, right, interprets for a woman who suffered domestic abuse from her 13-year-old son.
KUOW photo/Patricia Murphy

Vicky used to hide the knives in her home, but not because of the ex-husband who she says was abusive.

She was being beaten by her 13-year-old son.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, right, is escorted back to his unit by manager Shawn Northcutt at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Wash., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Green Hill School is a medium/maximum security, fenced facility for teenage male offenders.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

When black youth enter the criminal justice system, most of the people in authority they come into contact with — social workers, lawyers, the jury — are white.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, is currently incarcerated at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington, the state's maximum security facility for juveniles.

Alternative sentencing programs have reduced the number of kids in King County’s juvenile jail, but they’re still disproportionately black.

The county council’s Law and Justice Committee got an update this week on efforts to address the problem.


'I Will Not Ask The System Politely To Dismantle Itself'

May 3, 2017

Troy Osaki is on the verge of graduating law school. But the law, he says, is not enough. What about poetry?

Two short poems from Seattle's juvenile jail

May 1, 2017
A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

CHICAGO ON THE SOUTH SIDE

By a young man in juvenile detention, age 15

Everybody should know
that when I was younger
I was at school one day,
I went straight from lunch to recess.
My brother was driving down the street.
Somebody was shooting at his car.
The police said that one of the bullets
went through the window and
hit him in the back of his head.

He lost control of his car
and crashed into the monkey bars.

A poem read by a teen reader at King County Juvenile Detention in Seattle. The reader, a teen girl, had memorized it and therefore didn't read from the page.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The girl had been raped as a child.

Years later, she was in juvenile detention in Seattle, telling her story to Richard Gold, who was helping her write a poem.

Prison jail bars
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MLz2Y5

Young people who are detained by law enforcement in King County can no longer waive their right to an attorney on their own.

On Monday, the King County Council unanimously approved a motion meant to ensure that young people in custody are fully informed when deciding whether to talk to law enforcement.

Bill Radke talks with Dennis Morrow,  executive director of Janus Youth Programs, about Portland's Juvenile Reception Centers. King County proposed opening two similar centers for youth accused of low level offenses.

Prison jail bars
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MLz2Y5

King County executive Dow Constantine is calling for the creation of two new centers to help keep young people in King County out of jail.

In his annual State of the County address Monday, Constantine proposed two facilities, "Safe Spaces," which would provide services to young people dealing with challenges like homelessness, expulsion or low-level run-ins with the law.

King County's juvenile court and jail are located south of Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/jseattle

At any given time about 50 young people are booked into the juvenile detention facility on East Alder Street in Seattle. Some are awaiting trial, others are booked because there’s no adult to release them to. More than half are kids of color. 


Jennifer Henderson, a Seattle mental health counselor whose grandfather was killed by police outside of Ferguson in 1925. Trauma can be passed down through generations, she says.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

In downtown Seattle, therapist Robert Gant heard from a father who felt hopeless.

The man had told his sons, ages 12 and 9, that they should obey police. “Whatever, Dad,” the boys said. “They’ll still shoot you.”


Karen Taylor works to prevent youth of color from ending up in prison, as she did.
Courtesy of Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor is at a park near where she grew up in Renton. She comes here to pray and to walk. "My mother used to walk this trail," she said. "It's a nice place. Quiet. Serene."

Taylor's childhood here was anything but serene.

The ACLU of Idaho has joined the fight to move an accused teenage killer out of solitary confinement and back into juvenile detention.

In Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that automatic life without parole for juvenile killers is unconstitutional.

Does Jailing Juveniles Lead To More Crime?

Jun 19, 2013
Flickr Photo/publik16

 When kids are convicted of crimes, judges often have a choice: they can send those kids to jail, or they can place them in programs that don’t involve incarceration. Options include electronic home monitoring, group care or work crews. According to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, sending juvenile offenders to jail can have dire consequences for their futures. The study finds that kids who spend time in jail are 22 percent more likely to end up in jail as adults, and 13 percent less likely to graduate from high school. Read about it here.

How are juvenile offenders punished here Washington state? David Hyde find out from Paul Holland, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Law Professor at Seattle University.

A new bill will be proposed this week in the Washington state Legislature that aims to limit access to the criminal records of juvenile offenders.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – We’re starting to see real world fallout from some of the state budget cuts made in last few years. One of the clearest examples in Washington is juvenile parole. It turns out that the chief suspect in a recent high profile bar shooting had committed a previous murder – but did not qualify for intensive parole supervision because of cutbacks. One study finds juveniles who don’t receive parole are far more likely to be re-arrested within nine months of their release.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg is pushing for tougher penalties for kids that commit crimes with guns in Washington state.  Under current rules a judge can call for detention for up to 30 days for the first gun offense.  Under the proposed change, juvenile offenders would get a mandatory 10 days in detention after the first offense.