King County Executive Dow Constantine announced new options for parents, youth, school personnel and local law enforcement that will divert and reduce the number of youth who come into contact with the courts and detention facilities. The “Safe Spaces” proposal connects youth who may have traditionally gone into the criminal justice system to community-based alternatives that provide supports and crisis stabilization that were previously unavailable.
Youth and families can access counseling, healthcare, treatment for mental health or substance abuse, short-term crisis beds, education and mentoring and employment programs.
The Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee will lead a public engagement effort on the Executive’s proposal, to be concluded by May 31.
“Our goal is to ensure that every youth in King County is supported to achieve his or her full potential. With Safe Spaces, we will help even more of our young people through the rough patches in life, avoid the criminal justice system, and go on to happy and successful lives,” said Executive Constantine. “We can offer tools for youth and families that stabilize an immediate crisis and offer short and long-term services and supports. By investing early, we can move even farther towards our goal of zero detention.”
Read more at King County Youth Justice