Tag Archives: juvenile incarceration

How do we get to zero youth detention?

I was honored to moderate a panel for the League of Women Voters on April 6. Here’s the youtube!

Panelists are Dominique Davis, Judge Wesley Saint Clair, and Judge Laura Inveen.

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Current Legislation in Olympia regarding Juveniles

Bill No. Description Thoughts
SHB 2746 Concerning mental health and chemical dependency treatment for juvenile offenders Adds residential treatment options for substance abuse and mental health issues to be considered “punishment” for a juvenile crime if a whole bunch of people including therapists agree that mental health or addiction is the root cause.

GOOD.

SB 6524 Addressing factors to be considered when sentencing youth in adult criminal court for crimes committed as minors Allows adult courts to consider mitigating factors that are not available for “adults” in adult court so that an “exceptional sentence below the standard range” may be applied if the judge so decides.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SHB 2906 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SSB 6529. The main difference is it originates in the House.

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty.

GOOD.

SSB 6529 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SHB 2906. The main difference is it originates in the Senate.

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty. If the juvenile makes the motion.

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint. Also eliminates mandatory arrest in youth DV situations.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SB 6365 Establishing a lower age limit for discretionary decline hearings in juvenile court Establishes a minimum age for discretionary decline at 14 from non-existent. i.e. any age can currently be charged as an adult.

EXCELLENT.

Human Relations Day Grant Awarded to Pacific Northwest Conference Agency

A grant to fund MAP: My Action Planning for Incarcerated Youth has been awarded to Rev. Terri Stewart and the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition by the General Board of Church and Society. The Coalition, which is a task force of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, works with incarcerated youth in King County and Washington State detention facilities. With the MAP program, Rev. Stewart envisions training volunteers to mentor youth so that they transition out of detention with the skills and confidence they need to stay out and build productive lives.

MAPs allow youth and a trained mentor to come together and see where the youth has come from, who they are now, and who they want to be. Pictured is an exercise that shows an actual map of important life events illustrating who a youth was. We train mentors to be mirrors for the youth so they can see the absolute sacred worth that they have as children of God. Mentors also reflect and identify gifts and talents for youth who are often labeled worthless. These youth are not their crime.

Our goal is to recruit 30 new mentors and to create a solid 12 hour program that can be taught in a retreat format or in one-on-one mentoring. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Rev. Stewart at 425.531.1756 or YCC-Chaplain@thechurchcouncil.org.

The grant allows for the time, travel, and recruiting efforts of new volunteers. The Youth Chaplaincy Coalition still needs additional funding in order to pay for the supplies that mentors and youth will use. We plan on mentoring 120 youth this year. That is a supply cost of about $25 per youth. If you feel like sponsoring a youth, please contact Rev. Stewart at 425.531.1756 or YCC-Chaplain@thechurchcouncil.org or mail a donation to the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition, PO Box 18467, Seattle, WA 98118.

The materials and experience resulting from this pilot program can be used in other facilities across the US. Funds for Human Relations Day Grants come from the United Methodist Special Sunday offering received on Human Relations Day in January.

Upcoming Event: Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Dr. Joy DeGruy author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”

to Speak at the Edmonds School District Thursday 10/24, 7-9:30 p.mFrom Darlene Flynn, City of Seattle:

“Hello all,

In collaboration with the Edmonds School District, The Hazel Miller Foundation, Communities of Color Coalition and Families of Color United In Service (FOCUIS), I am excited and proud to let you all know we will be hosting Dr. Joy DeGruy author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” to Speak at the Edmonds School District Thursday October 24th 7-9:30 p.m.

This event is FREE and seating is limited.

The Edmonds School District is located at:

20420 68th Ave W Lynnwood, WA 98036 (just south of Edmonds Community College)

Dr. DeGruy is the foremost expert on Black historical trauma and its effects on the community today.

Dr. DeGruy’s presentation is a call for us all to identify the manifestations of trauma, a call to healing and a call to action.

We look forward to you seeing you Thursday October 24th from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Edmonds School District!

For more information on events like this, please join FOCUIS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EAACH2012?ref=hl

Sincerely,
Daniel VanArsdale
Director of Families of Color United In Service (FOCUIS)

Upcoming Events / Juvenile Justice Zine Release Party

Juvenile Justice Zine release party thrown by WISH

(Washington Incarceration Stops Here),

Friday, 10/11 7-10pm, at Queer Youth Space (upstairs at 911 E. Pike Street).
Full invitation from WISH as follows:
“I am writing to let you know that WISH has just finished compiling a great zine – Plan A – featuring poetry, art, and articles presenting a vision for alternatives to the new youth jail and juvenile courts.

“We will be having a zine release party on Friday, October 11th, and would love it if you and your members (and anyone else you think may be interested) can attend. The party will be at Queer Youth Space from 7-10pm. It will feature a short program, including speakers discussing WISH and poetry from zine authors, followed by lots of music, dancing, and refreshments! Although we won’t have any formal tabling, please feel free to bring any materials from your organization that you would like to share. You can click on the links below to see the facebook event page and the new postings to WISH’s blog:  https://www.facebook.com/events/219384354892998/http://nonewyouthjail.wordpress.com/

Best,
The members of WISH

Research: Transitioning Youth to the Public School Systems

Below is the summary section of results from a doctoral thesis, pages 86-88.  By Cheryl Graham Watkins.

“Youth incarcerated in detention centers will at some point transition back to their base schools and communities. For many, the detention education program is the last chance of having a formal education. As indicated in the research (Nelson, Rutherford, & Wolford, 1987; Wolford, 2000) many have had unsuccessful experiences in school and many complete their schooling in programs at the detention center. While others return to the base school and continue to experience unsuccessful attempts at transitioning. Thus, effective transition from the facility to the school and community is essential. The recommendations offered in this section are based on the findings of the study, current literature, and personal experiences. The recommendations are not in any order but are included for their relative importance for promoting successful transition of youth from the detention setting to educational mainstream and the community.”

  1. Employ and fund qualified transition personnel.
  2. A transition plan must be developed for all youth, and transition should begin at the point of entry.
  3. In order to address the academic needs of all youth, programs geared toward all academic levels, especially for youth coming into detention having been involved in advanced studies programs designed to obtain advanced studies diploma is essential.
  4. Policy makers may want to consider more closely the need to include in the education program vocational skills training, with an emphasis on extensive career exploration, and vocational aptitude testing.
  5. Both GED and High School Graduate are considered meaningful end products.
  6. In addition, to the above recommendations, given the era of accountability there should be much better record keeping and understanding of what happens to youth following release from detention facilities.