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DPD is working to keep our clients and employees safe

Even before COVID-19 swept our region, DPD was pushing to ensure our clients’ rights were upheld and their humanity recognized by a civil and criminal legal system that often fails to value them. The pandemic has put these concerns into starker relief. As a result, DPD is working closely with community partners on a number of fronts, aggressively advocating for incarcerated adults, incarcerated youth, children and parents in the dependency system, people facing involuntary commitment, and more. We’ve also been working to ensure that courts and jails make operational and structural changes to ensure our employees can represent their clients while staying safe. Below are some of the letters we've written and motions we've filed as part of our ongoing advocacy in support of clients and employees.

Advocating for adults in the criminal legal system 

March 17:Letter to the Washington Supreme Court, signed by many partners, that would protect out-of-custody defendants from having to come to court.
March 18: DPD news release calling on courts, prosecutors to take measures to protect health, safety of defendants and court personnel.
June 23: Letter to the Seattle City Council and the Seattle City Attorney, calling for transformational change in prosecutorial practices and for Seattle Municipal Court to become a leader in restorative justice.

Advocating for youth in the criminal legal system 

March 23: Letter to Sec. Hunter, signed by several partners, to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of incarcerated youth. 
March 23: Letter to Juvenile Court Administrators and Juvenile Court judges, signed by many partners, to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of incarcerated youth. 
March 26: Letter to the Washington Supreme Court, signed by many partners, seeking an order addressing the needs of incarcerated youth.

Advocating for children and families

March 23: Letter to Gov. Inslee and Sec. Hunter, signed by many partners, asking DCYF to ensure children in state care and parents can stay in contact via in-person visits.
March 31: Letter to Gov. Inslee requesting clarification on proclamation regarding family visitation for children in foster care.
April 7: Letter to Gov. Inslee and Sec. Hunter, signed by many partners, asking for actions that could meet the health/safety needs of older youth in foster care.
April 22: Motion to Reconsider filed by DPD in response to King County Superior Court's emergency order regarding dependency matters. 

Advocating for those facing civil commitments

March 26: Letter to King County Superior Judge Steiner on a number of issues pertaining to civil commitment procedures under the Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA). 
April 2: Letter to Washington Supreme Court raising concerns about the impact of a proposed order on the civil rights of vulnerable people in ITA Court.