King County Executive unveils roadmap for closing controversial youth jail, ending juvenile detention

Oct 8, 2021, 8:18 AM | Updated: 10:54 am
youth detention, jail...
Seattle's new Children and Family Justice Center. (Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)
(Hanna Scott, KIRO Radio)

King County Executive Dow Constantine unveiled the first phase of his plan to close down the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) youth detention facility, with the goal to end juvenile detention by 2025.

Crowd marches to King County Executive’s home Thursday

The CFJC has been a flashpoint in King County since construction on the facility first began. That was a period marked by mismanagement and cost overruns, alongside criticism from several local leaders over what they believed to be an outdated approach to juvenile rehabilitation.

Just a year after it opened, Constantine announced his intention in July of 2020 to convert the CFJC to other uses and move away from centralized youth detention. Now, he has released what’s expected to be the first of two reports he hopes will help the county achieve those outcomes.

The report details a timeline that would have the county hire a board project manager for the project by the end of October, form an advisory committee by the end of 2021, hire consultants in the spring of 2022, and then submit a proviso to the county council by June 30.

After a period of community engagement as well as a handful of work sessions and stakeholder interviews, the timeline will then move into 2023, which will largely be made up of further community engagement efforts and collaboration with the advisory committee to incorporate that input into final recommendations by the end of that year. The hope is to then begin implementing those recommendations in 2024.

Is there truly a road map to zero youth detention?

“Our plan will succeed only with the support of every partner — from governments to communities,” Constantine said in a news release. “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 CFJC by 2025 while protecting youth and the public.”

Constantine’s report released this week points to data between 2010 and 2020 that shows that while “King County now has one of the lowest detention rates in the State of Washington, youth of color continue to be overrepresented in secure detention.”

Local News

Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
8 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Explosions heard during fire in Bellevue

Several people in Bellevue reported hearing explosions in the area of a large fire Thursday night.
1 day ago
Tacoma shooting...
MyNorthwest Staff

Police search for suspects in Tacoma shooting that left four people dead

Tacoma police say two women and two men were killed in a shooting Thursday.
1 day ago
Kathryn Altena

King County Board of Health delays vote to repeal bike helmet law

After a public hearing on a proposed repeal of King County's bike helmet law, the county board of health decided to delay their vote.
1 day ago
jim walsh, washington lawmaker...
Heather Bosch

Washington lawmaker is locked out of capitol over COVID vaccine mandate

A Washington state lawmaker says he's been locked out of the state capitol in Olympia over the COVID vaccine mandate.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Sammamish scores top spot on list of best small US cities to live in

A new list has crowned Sammamish, Washington, the nation's best small city to live in, marking the latest in a string of recent accolades.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
King County Executive unveils roadmap for closing controversial youth jail, ending juvenile detention