Zero Youth Detention: Year in Review & 2020 Plans

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February 2020

As we settle into 2020, we wanted to take a look back at Zero Youth Detention's 2019 accomplishments, and our plans for the year ahead.

Some of our 2019 highlights:

  • Hired Derrick Wheeler-Smith as the Director of Zero Youth Detention.
  • Launched our Implementation Dashboard to track the progress of our initiatives.
  • Continued to build out our Data Dashboard, where we track juvenile legal system data.
  • Collaborated with the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention to hold family guidance focus groups, which guided us in ways to better support connections between youth and families in the legal system. This group informed us on the launch of travel vouchers and video visitation to help families stay connected to youth in detention.
  • Shared our work with, and learned from, national juvenile legal reform leaders at the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Conference, held in King County.
  • Supported the passage of bills that improve the statewide environment for juvenile legal reform.
  • Funded community partner Choose 180 to hire Community Navigators who support youth and families through the legal process.
  • Launched a pilot project to expand behavioral health resources to families in need, rather than limiting these services to families with legal system involvement. Look out for a blog coming soon!

Here’s what we’re looking forward to working on in 2020. Subscribe to our blog for updates:

  • Based on feedback from our family focus group, we’re publishing an illustrated, multi-lingual handbook to better help families navigate the legal system.
  • Partnering with schools and school-based health centers to provide holistic, anti-racist support for families, including therapeutic life skills, substance abuse services, coaching and more.
  • Convening community leaders, families, youth, philanthropic organizations, government leaders and other stakeholders to explore both immediate and upstream approaches to violence prevention.
  • Working with community providers to expand their supportive programming so more youth are eligible for alternatives to detention.

Want a refresher of what Zero Youth Detention is all about?

Zero Youth Detention is a shared vision to not only further reduce the use of secure detention for youth in King County, but to launch this county on the journey to eliminate it.