If you are a child in the juvenile justice system in Washington State, there’s a greater than sixty percent chance you are suffering from significant mental health issues. There’s a nearly ninety percent chance that you have a problem with substance abuse. And if you’re an African-American teen, you are five times more likely to find yourself in adult court being tried as an adult than a white kid facing similar charges.
The failings of the juvenile justice system in our state mean that kids in trouble can’t get the help they need to turn their young lives around. The inequalities in the justice system mean that kids of color are disproportionately likely to enter the system in the first place. Kids and youth of color suffer disproportionately harsh consequences after an arrest or detention.
The Children’s Alliance advocates for alternatives to detention, juvenile violence prevention, and strategies that address racial inequality in the system.
Currently we do not have an advocacy campaign focused directly on juvenile justice. You can learn more at our resources page. We support the efforts of allied organizations including, among others; the Center for Children and Youth Justice, Children’s Home Society of Washington, and the Washington Defender Association.