Guest Editorial: A Call to Action to Address Racial Disparity in the Juvenile Justice System

Comments

1
A judge writes a self-flagellation article about juveniles, with the word "parents" only used once.

2
@1, parental responsibility is something we don't want to talk about. Just like we don't talk about corporate responsibility, personal responsibility or government responsibility. Responsibility is just a downer. :)
3
The jail is a legal requirement so children don't have to be locked up with adults. Solving the racial disparity isn't solved by letting more violent offenders go based on their skin, it means locking up more white kids.

Its baffling that we are still talking about this as if no jail, and less arrests for truly violent kids is an answer.
5
Interesting how priorities get realigned all of a sudden when organized opposition threatens to hold up the gravy train.
6
@4: That guy sounds like a good candidate for confinement in a jail for adults.
7
The county is creating bonds whereby citizens will pay developers for a new juvie. In the meantime, the City of Seattle has been feeding developers with the following:
-- $464 million for a new substation and distribution lines seeing growth in South Lake Union - City Light customers, not Paul Alan's Vulcan nor Amazon, are paying for that.
-- $500,000 to reroute downtown traffic around construction sites - free to the construction projects.
-- $900,000 to synchronize stoplights on the Mercer Corridor - a project that has no chance of eliminating Mercer congestion.
-- $2 million (per year for the last 5) to subsidize the Pacific Place Parking Garage free to the shopping core businesses.
-- $4.5 to $6 million to study expansion of the South Lake Union streetcar (SLUT) - a project that fas spectacularly failed to attract riders and operates at a huge deficit adding value only to the property owners on it's route.
-- $2.8 million for the Yesler Terrace redevelopment which will result in the loss (not the gain) of several hundred Seattle Housing Authority low income housing units but all benefit Vulcan which has purchased much of the land for development.
This is from a column by John Fox in the Dec. 31 issue of the Queen Anne Magnolia News on the City of Seattle's 2015 budget. We need help looking at the county budget too. Our politician class is in the pockets of the developers and business. The children be damned.
8
What John Fox doesn't know about electrical distribution systems is a lot. Plus, he's pretty uninformed about Yesler Terrace. But he's always preferred that poor people live in picturesque squalor. He's been singing that tune since the Holly Park days.
9
@6, The reality is that business properties and business activity, not residential ones, pay the bills. Industrial SODO and downtown generate roughly 70% of general fund revenue for the City of Seattle, despite being 25% of the City's land area. Parks, police, fire, arts, human services funding, are paid for disproportionately, by business. I am not suggesting that is bad. Nor is it atypical. The reality is business deeply subsidizes everything for the residential taxpayer, and we should be happy to have this golden goose laying golden eggs.
10
The 1% for art fund is entirely derived from business activity, and downtown medium and large businesses pay significantly higher electrical rates.
11
Before the trolls and police enthusiasts make their "Well, maybe black kids are breaking the law more often" that the Washington State Judicial Committee in conjunction with UW Law conducted a study a few years back that shows that there is no direct correllation between race and propensity to offend. There was a correlation between race and likelihood of being profiled, charged more harshly, arrested and convicted by a jury in Washington. Which means, in short, White person gets x sentence, black person gets X + Y sentence when both are charged with the same crime. Officer observes black person doing X questionable thing, and officer observes white person doing X questionable thing, the officer is more likely to detain and arrest the black person.

source 1: http://crosscut.com/2011/12/want-do-crim…
source 2: https://digital.law.washington.edu/dspac…

Further, an earlier study revealed that policing and drug enforcement are so lopsidedly aimed at minorities, blacks in particular, that race seems to be the only factor as to explain it. While African Americans were less than 10% of Seattle's population, and statistically White Americans are a majority (and slightly more likely) of drug offenders, 68% of the SPD's enforcement was aimed at African Americans. All of a sudden that report on the cop who issued 80 pot tickets, most of which were to African Americans, makes a lot of sense.

Source 1: https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/race20…

Thus, not only is this not a case of "well, the blacks are just breaking the laws", its very much a case of "judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement in Washington are blatantly targeting blacks, and singling them out for harsher treatment within the system".
12
Hmmm. This tone is very different than that of the following internal King County Bar Bulletin article...

https://www.kcba.org/newsevents/barbulle…
13
The four hours of public comment prior to the King County Council vote to approve the contract on the new juvie included testimony from multiple voters explaining that the language surrounding the levy was beyond misleading. It included a reading from the voter handbook, published by King County, showing that the only place where jail was referred to was in reference to tearing down the old jail. All descriptions of the new facility were in reference to services, buildings, and facilities rather than detention or jail.

People testified as to the inadequacies of the contract, issues of environmental contamination of the site, and concerns about cost over-runs. Many people, including a white man whose grandmother was murdered by two black youth, testified about the systemic injustices and inequalities that create and are perpetuated by an over funded penal system and could be alleviated by spending that money to address the root causes instead of the resulting behaviors of individuals.

The majority of the council was not present. Of the three members who were present for the majority of the time, Joe McDermott made it clear he was only there to enforce process, Kathy Lambert was on her phone twirling her hair, and Larry Gossett was asleep. Rod Dembowski openly laughed at much of the testimony before telling members of the public that he had already decided on his position and that nothing would change his mind. Over a hundred citizens testified. No one listened to them.

Why should anyone bother to show up to a listening session with a judge, or lots of judges, or anybody in the King County Government for that matter when those listening sessions are nothing but a political show piece? "Look, we're listening to the public! You've been heard. Now sit down and shut up while we do what we were going to do anyway."
14
@13: Respectfully, you're wrong in your first paragraph. Direct quote from the August 2012 voters guide: "The Children and Family Justice Center Replacement Project includes a series of capital projects to design, remodel, construct, and equip facilities for juvenile justice and family law services. Capital projects include replacement of the Alder wing, Alder tower, detention facilities, and associated parking facilities."