King County Executive Dow Constantine today issued the following statement in response to protesters who are at the construction site of the Children and Family Justice Center.
I am aware of the activities at the Children and Family Justice Center, and I have read the recent correspondence from the No New Youth Jail Coalition. We continue to invite all those interested in youth welfare and juvenile justice to join a full dialogue with King County and our community partners as we do the difficult work to further reduce the number of youth in detention.
I do not believe keeping kids in the current decrepit and disrespectful facility is the right solution. Moving young people to adult jail also takes us in the wrong direction. In fact, I issued an Executive Order directing that all young people charged as adults be moved to the juvenile facility so that they can receive more age-appropriate services and programming.
While we complete the CFJC, we will continue to modify the new, smaller detention consistent with a public health approach to support youth and families before, during and after they are involved in the justice system. I have accepted an invitation to debate this issue on the Seattle Channel, and I look forward to a lively exchange of views.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Alex Fryer, Executive Office, 206-477-7966