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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive Constantine thanks retiring Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention director John Diaz, names Juvenile Division director Allen Nance as successor

Summary

Executive Constantine thanks John Diaz for his service as he prepares to step down in late June, after leading the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention (DAJD) since 2019. Juvenile Division Director Allen Nance has been nominated as the next department director, overseeing King County’s adult jails, youth detention, community corrections, and other alternatives to secure detention.

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John Diaz

John Diaz


Allen Nance

Allen Nance

Executive Constantine announced today that John Diaz, Director of DAJD, will retire in late June following a distinguished three-year tenure that included unprecedented changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. A former Seattle police chief, Diaz joined DAJD as interim director in April 2019 and assumed the director position that August. Executive Constantine has appointed Juvenile Division Director Allen Nance to take over the role.

“Throughout his career, John Diaz has been an exemplary public servant, in his role as DAJD Director and beyond. I am grateful for his commitment to rethinking the criminal legal system in support of reducing racial disparities and driving community-based alternatives. I wish him well as he embarks on this next chapter of life,” said Executive Constantine. “We are fortunate to have another experienced and committed leader within our ranks to continue the department’s vital work, and I thank Allen Nance for stepping into this role as we move forward.”

During his tenure, Diaz worked with partners in the criminal legal system to greatly expand alternatives to secure detention, allowing King County to significantly lower the average daily jail population and the number of detained youth. Diaz has placed equity and social justice at the forefront of his efforts, both for people in the department’s care and its employees.

“I want to thank Executive Constantine for the opportunity to lead DAJD. It’s been a privilege to work for the County,” DAJD Director John Diaz said. “I am honored to have served as DAJD’s director, working with the people from this organization who do a very difficult job with professionalism and empathy. They carry out their duties through extraordinary circumstances, including the ongoing pandemic.”

Allen Nance has been appointed to the role of Director, subject to approval by the King County Council, and will take over as of June 25. Nance was named Division Director of DAJD’s Juvenile Division in November 2019, following a nationwide search. He has been working to realize Executive Constantine’s goal of maintaining community safety while preparing to close King County’s secure youth detention facility by 2025.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve King County in this important role leading the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and want to thank John Diaz for his leadership to the department and his lifelong commitment to public service,” said Nance. “I look forward to the work ahead as we improve conditions of confinement for those in our custody, support the hardworking people of the department, and advance the community safety goals that enhance the quality of life for those who live, visit, or work in our county.”

Nance brings decades of experience in adult, youth, and community corrections settings with a sustained commitment to reform. Immediately before joining King County, he served as the chief juvenile probation officer for the city and county of San Francisco, California. He previously led criminal justice policy efforts for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and held leadership positions for probation departments in Illinois’ DuPage and Cook counties for many years.

Quanetta West will take over as interim director of DAJD’s Juvenile Division. She is currently the Juvenile Division deputy director.

“I am honored to be chosen for this wonderful opportunity within DAJD," said West. "I intend to continue my commitment to partner with the staff, community, and stakeholders as we work together to provide the best care and services for youth in support of their families and the communities we serve.”

The Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention employs about 900 staff and spans five divisions: the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle, the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, the Juvenile Division, Community Corrections Division, and Administrative Services Division.


Relevant links


Quotes

Throughout his career, John Diaz has been an exemplary public servant, in his role as DAJD Director and beyond. I am grateful for his commitment to rethinking the criminal legal system in support of reducing racial disparities and driving community-based alternatives. I wish him well as he embarks on this next chapter of life. We are fortunate to have another experienced and committed leader within our ranks to continue the department’s vital work, and I thank Allen Nance for stepping into this role as we move forward.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

I want to thank Executive Constantine for the opportunity to lead DAJD. It’s been a privilege to work for the County. I am honored to have served as DAJD’s director, working with the people from this organization who do a very difficult job with professionalism and empathy. They carry out their duties through extraordinary circumstances, including the ongoing pandemic.

John Diaz, Director, Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention

I am humbled by the opportunity to serve King County in this important role leading the department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and I want to thank John Diaz for his leadership to the department and his lifelong commitment to public service. I look forward to the work ahead as we improve conditions of confinement for those in our custody, support the hardworking people of the department, and advance the community safety goals that enhance the quality of life for those who live, visit, or work in our county.

Allen Nance, appointed DAJD director

I am honored to be chosen for this wonderful opportunity within DAJD. I intend to continue my commitment to partner with the staff, community, and stakeholders as we work together to provide the best care and services for youth in support of their families and the communities we serve.

Quanetta West, Interim Director, Juvenile Division, DAJD

For more information, contact:

Noah Haglund, King County Department of Adult & Juvenile Detention, 206-263-1866


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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