Tag Archives: Youth Detention

Youth Chaplaincy Program Summary

Our Programs


Chaplains are really great listeners. Overall chaplains provide a non-anxious listening presence. We listen from a spiritual standpoint that is looking for signs of life that you may not see and we listen with an open heart that meets you on your spiritual path.  We leave denominational and religious differences at the door. Chaplains are present on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.


Every Monday and Thursday in the Library, there are between 2-4 volunteers to talk to youth about anything on their mind: current issues, long-term goals, priority setting and/or next steps. Each session lasts around 30-40 minutes. Youth meet one-on-one with a mentor and talk — this time is completely judge-free and catered to youth! Mentoring is a secular program which means it is not focused on religion or spirituality. The focus of mentoring is walking with youth on their path.


Worship services happen each Sunday in library from 7:00—9:00. It happens in shifts so not everyone goes at once. Worship features a variety of church communities that come from all over King County.

REST Retreats

REST Retreats happen every other month on a Saturday and Sunday. REST stands for Real Escape from Sex Trafficking. The retreats are focused on recognizing trafficking when you see it, empowering youth to help others escape sex trafficking, and in learning about gender equity. We use the CAASE curriculum that is also used by Seattle Against Slavery (SAS)

SoulCollage Retreats

SoulCollage is an art process to explore the many parts of who we are. Do you have an inner prankster? Make a collage in honor of the prankster! An inner teacher? Honor the teacher! Perhaps you’d like to honor a person who is special to you—an auntie or hero. SoulCollage lets youth create and explore the many parts of them.

Scripture Study

There are a variety of scripture studies that take place throughout the week.

Boys Hall #1—Tuesdays at 6:00

Boys Hall #2—Wednesdays at 6:00

Girls Hall—Fridays at 7:00

Girls Hall—Saturdays at 1:00

Peacemaking Circles

We are intimately involved in the current healing of the incarceration system through the use of Peacemaking Circles. Most would call this restorative justice, but I am reluctant to put a new label on an ancient process.

The Peacemaking Circle process comes to us through Saroeum Phoung who was taught by the Tagish and Tlingit First Nation people of the Yukon Territories.

You can learn more about the King County Peacemaking Coordinating Team at kingcountyPCT.org.

How Can You Help?

Spiritual support.

Will you make a commitment to pray for the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition?  The Advisory Board Members?  The Volunteers?  The Youth of Affected by incarceration?  The Staff at the Detention Centers?

Would you want to volunteer at any of the detention centers?  Once a year?  Weekly? In a study? Life skills? Worship? Resume writing? Cooking?

Financial support.

Could you make a commitment to making a donation to the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition? To being an ongoing donor?  Buying Bibles?  Purchasing needed supplies such as socks, shampoo, and soap?  Providing opportunities to youth to attend events such as sports or theaters?

Administrative support.

Would you like to help out by providing administrative support?  Finding grant opportunities?  Mailing out fundraising letters? Finding speaking opportunities?

Please contact Rev. Terri Stewart if you are interested.

flyer for youth

Restorative Justice Becomes Law

New legislation happened quietly this year in Washington that affects the juvenile justice system. I knew it was happening, but the legislators I work with wanted to keep it quiet. Sometimes, when a light shines on legislation, people stop doing the right thing and do what they think is politically correct to be re-elected.

The new legislation can be found here: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/2906-S.PL.pdf

The most important part of the legislation may be the addition of restorative justice as an alternative to secure detention:

“Community-based rehabilitation” means one or more of the following: Employment; attendance of information classes; literacy classes; counseling, outpatient substance abuse treatment programs, outpatient mental health programs, anger management classes, education or outpatient treatment programs to prevent animal cruelty, or other services including, when appropriate, restorative justice programs; or attendance at school or other educational programs appropriate for the juvenile as determined by the school district.”

Previously, restorative justice had restricted access. This opens it up for local municipalities to make their own judgment regarding what is good rehabilitation. It also defines restorative justice:

“Restorative justice” means practices, policies, and programs informed by and sensitive to the needs of crime victims that are designed to encourage offenders to accept responsibility for repairing the harm caused by their offense by providing safe and supportive opportunities for voluntary participation and communication between the victim, the offender, their families, and relevant community members.”

This is a big deal. Restorative justice is now codified in Washington state law!

We owe a great deal of thanks to Rep. Roger Goodman for being a tireless advocate of restorative justice. You can send a note of thanks via his assistant at: Derek.Zable@leg.wa.gov


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

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

Kairos Torch Volunteers Needed

Hi!  I’d like to share with you a mission that is dear to my heart.  Kairos Prison Ministry.  In Greek, there are two words for time…chronos and Kairos.  Chronos is the time on your watch and Kairos has a meaning more close to “the right or opportune moment.”  Any expectant mother can tell you about waiting for Kairos time while being on chronos time.

Kairos Prison Ministry delivers a little bit of God’s time to those who are incarcerated.  It offers a short course in Christian love and unity to people who have little experience of a supportive, loving community.  Often, lives are transformed.

Kairos Torch is a ministry for juveniles who are incarcerated.  Hey, youth need God’s love too!  In Torch, not only are the youth given a Christian retreat, they are given a mature Christian mentor that they meet with for one year.  This can often be one of the most stable relationships that a youth may have.

This year, here in Washington, Kairos Prison Ministry is holding Torch #1 at King County Youth Detention Center in Seattle. We hope to interrupt the cycle of recidivism that so many youth become trapped in. Kairos for adults has been shown, statistically, to lower the recidivism rate from 70% (or so) to 30%. This is significant! And you can be part of it!

There are several ways to support Kairos Prison Ministry. Prayer, Volunteering, and Financial Support just to name a few!  If you are interested in any of these, please contact Roberta Newell at rnewell@post.com or Terri Stewart at YCC-Chaplain@thechurchcouncil.org.

Washington State Kairos Prison Ministry Website

International Kairos Prison Ministry Website

Snippets from Detention

The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
~John 1:5

…thrown out…

…i pray for my father’s death…
…i wanted to be president…
…i miss my children…
…i don’t need anybody…
…i have to be wanted…
…i wonder where god is…



Child Slavery is Bigger then Ever

York-led study finds homeless youth more vulnerable to crime

York-led study finds homeless youth more vulnerable to crime

A poem: “I am from nothing”

Below is a poem from mindy hardwick’s blog.  She facilitates poetry writing workshops in youth detention centers.  I think this really gives a glimpse into the mind of a youth in prison.  Especially the idea of being nothing and coming from nothing.


Written by a Teen Girl


I am from nothing.

A hole in the wall

An unnoticed fly on the ceiling

I am from deception

A never-ending circle of flies

A knife in the back of a friend
I am from perversion

The look on a man’s face

as he steals the innocence of a child.


I am from nothing

But I will not BE nothing.

Detention: No Place for Kids

Hey…a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports:

  • Youth prisons do not reduce recidivism
  • Youth prisons waste taxpayer money
  • Youth prisons expose youth to dangerous and abusive conditions

But, the good news:

  • States have reduced their juvenile corrections populations
  • There has been no corresponding increase in juvenile crimes or violence


  • Limit eligibility for correctional placement
  • Invest in promising non-residential alternatives
  • Change the financial incentives for incarcerating youth
  • Adopt best practice reforms for managing youthful offenders
  • Replace large institutions with small, treatment-oriented centers for the dangerous few
  • Use data to hold youth correction systems accountable

View the complete report here:  No Place for Kids:  The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration


Some good news for Washington state…

The good news is that across the time period that this report talks about, Washington state decreased its juvenile detention population by about 600 youth.  And that Washington state is decreasing its occurrence of “maltreatment” of youth.

Recurring Maltreatment of Youth in Detention
Recurring Maltreatment of Youth in Detention

Bible Study Tonight: The Ten Commandments

Tonight, in the Youth Detention Center, we did a Bible study with the boys about the 10 commandments.  We let the youth write their own 10 commandments.  Everybody had to come to consensus on what was an agreeable commandment.  The consensus process was a little challenging, but the youth were great at the process!  I’m going to record as many as I can remember here!  Some were wise…and some were, well, interesting!

  1. Everybody gets what they need (and they work for it)
  2. Honor your elders (attitude)
  3. Obey God
  4. Help the poor
  5. Help the needy
  6. Be fruitful and multiply (but no prostitutes)
  7. Respect life (quite a discussion about what murder is and is not)
  8. Live the life you were given and do the best you can

As you can see, I can’t quite remember them all.  Maybe I’ll come up with them sometime in the middle of the night!

What would be the 10 commandments you would write?

Complementary Practices in Chaplaincy

From the Association of Professional Chaplains, “Complementary Spiritual Practices.”  Below are six practices I selected from the myriad offerings they have in their report.  I encourage you to read the breadth of practices they have and to consider where there are practices you can incorporate into your spiritual toolkit!

Practice:  Anointing with Oil
Description:  Religious Ritual Involving the Placement of Oil on Head or Body
Benefit: Spiritual Blessing, Connecting with the Divine & Community, Health Benefits from Increased Coping Resources

Practice:  Breath Prayer
Description:  Intercessory Prayer, Tonglen (Buddhist)
Benefit:   Increased Closeness to God, Positive Health Effects

Practice:  Confession
Description:  Multi-faith Practice
Benefit:   Health Benefits, Emotional Release, Reduction in Negative Feelings

Practice:  Forgiveness
Description:  Forgiving Others
Benefit:   Treatment of Various Disorders, Unblocking Spiritual Process, Positive Physical Effects of Lessened Stress

Practice:  Guided Imagery Visualization
Description:  Directed Imagination, Creation of Visuals, Images, and Events
Benefit:   Relaxation, Well-Being, Healing Effects

Practice:  Prayer or Mala Beads
Description:  Using String of Beads with Prayer or Meditation
Benefit:   Centeredness, Mindfulness, Interconnection with Others