King County Executive releases blueprint to remove youth detention center by 2025

King County Executive Dow Constantine has released a blueprint for the planning process to close the juvenile secure detention facility located within the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center (PHCCFJC) by 2025. 

In July of 2020, Constantine announced that King County would be converting its youth detention units at the PHCCFJC to community spaces by 2025. 

"We’re reaching the steepest leg of our journey to achieve Zero Youth Detention. Our plan will succeed only with the support of every partner - from governments to communities," said Constantine. 

The County will take a phased approach to the planning process, with key project milestones set to begin this fall and continue over the next four years towards the originally announced 2025 timeline:

The blueprint reads, in part: 

The project approach outlined in the report calls for the establishment of an advisory committee to be comprised of representatives from community, service providers, youth advocates, Superior Court, Prosecuting Attorneys’ Office, Department of Public Defense, education, public health, labor organizations, local law enforcement, and philanthropy. Community representatives include those with lived experience with the juvenile legal
system, including parents and youth. In addition, DAJD will leverage the expertise and guidance of existing bodies such as, but not limited to, the Children and Youth Advisory Board.

The planned project advisory committee will advise the County on an array of project related matters, including identifying stakeholders for engagement; developing the consultant request for applications/qualifications/proposals and review/evaluation of submitted responses; recommending engagement strategies; and identifying potential solutions to barriers and challenges. Members will participate in community meetings and serve as community
resources for the project work. 

Read the full plan here

According to Constantine, the county has driven average daily population numbers down from nearly 80 to 15 due to a "prevention and diversion" approach. 

"We resolve that this hard work is worth it, and with community-wide support, we will deliver on our promise to close the centralized detention wing of the PHCCFJC by 2025 while protecting youth and the public," Constantine said. 

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