Care & Closure
Care & Closure
In response to community calls for transformation within the criminal legal system and racial equity, Executive Constantine has pledged to expand community-based alternatives to support youth healing, accountability, and community safety and close the secure youth detention facility in King County.
All young people in King County deserve to thrive and reach their full potential. Yet many face a legal system that is harmful, punitive, and overwhelmingly targets youth of color.
Care & Closure is a plan to center youth, care, and connection and reduce the harms of the punitive system in which we currently operate as King County moves to close the youth detention center. Ultimately, King County aims to unwind generations of systemic racism by transforming the criminal legal system and enhancing public safety, so every person is safe in their home and community.
In order to close the youth detention facility at the Judge Patricia J. Clark Children and Family Justice Center (CCFJC), King County must expand alternatives to youth detention by proposing and adopting a holistic range of community-based alternatives that address the complex needs and risk levels of young people who would otherwise be in detention.
King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is leading the Care & Closure process to identify community-based alternatives to youth incarceration and oversee community engagement to create a roadmap that supports the health of young people and their healing, accountability, and community safety.
Juvenile incarceration has harmful, profound, and long-lasting impacts on young people’s mental and physical health. It impacts their future employment and educational outcomes. It also increases the likelihood of being involved in the criminal legal system in the future.
Notably, young people of color are harmed most because of structural racism, historic community disinvestment, and overpolicing. Although the County has reduced the number of young people in detention by 75% since 2010, youth of color are overrepresented in detention and the youth legal system. Youth of color made up 81% of the young people in detention in 2022.
Bold action is needed to further transform the youth legal system and support young people.
We can build more just and accountable alternatives for young people responsible for serious harm in their communities.
Creating youth healing, accountability, and community safety without relying on punitive and harmful systems will take all of us. Join us in this effort.
Ready to get started? Click on the tabs above to take a short survey, learn about the Advisory Committee, and see what we are learning.
Join the Advisory Committee meetings
Our next meeting is on Monday, June 26 from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. Please check out the "Advisory Committee" tab to learn more about the meeting and find notes, agendas, and slides from previous meetings.
Learn more about the project
Check out a summary document of the project.
- English (click here).
- Other languages coming soon!
Sign up to receive project updates
Share your input on what's needed to better support young people
Take a short survey (click here).
Learn about the project timeline
This project will take place in five key phases:
Phase 1: Project Roll-Out
January - June 2022
Phase 2: Community Listening & Learning
July - December 2022
Phase 3: Community Strategy Development
January - December 2023
Phase 4: Strategy Implementation
January - December 2024
Phase 5: Transition to Closure
January - December 2025
If you have comments or questions about Care & Closure, please contact:
Emily Johnson, Special Projects Manager & Jawara McDuffie, Community Partner Co-Lead
Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org