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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine transmits blueprint to zero youth detention in CFJC by 2025

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine shared the blueprint for a strategic planning process to close the juvenile secure detention facility located within the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center and recommendations for its repurposing and reuse to serve community needs by 2025.

Story

On September 30, King County Executive Dow Constantine shared the first of two planning reports with the King County Council regarding the plan to end the use of secure detention for juveniles in the County.

Announced in June 2020, the closure of the secure detention units at the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center (PHCCFJC) enacts King County’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist, pro-equity government and breaking the cycle of disenfranchisement, suffering, and reliance on incarceration through an investment in community-based alternatives.

“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 Executive Constantine. “With our focus on prevention and diversion, we’ve already driven average daily population numbers from nearly 80 to fewer than 15, but what remain are the most complex and tragic cases. 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.”

The strategic planning process will center community and be conducted by the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) to identify a clear path to implement the closure of the detention facility. Initial engagement has already begun with various stakeholders – community providers, youth advocates, legal system practitioners, county leaders and system reformers – in individual, group, and public forums.

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 initiative to close the secure detention portion of the PHCCFJC is one in a series of actions that the County has undertaken in the last 18 months to reimagine elements of the criminal legal system while centering equity and rebuilding public trust. From transitioning the King County Sheriff’s Office to the executive branch, to rethinking fare enforcement on public transit, to declaring racism as a public health crisis, King County is dedicated to undoing the burdens of systemic racism, and ensuring every person has the opportunity to thrive.



Relevant links


Quotes

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. With our focus on prevention and diversion, we’ve already driven average daily population numbers from nearly 80 to fewer than 15, but what remain are the most complex and tragic cases. 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.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography