Seattle Law Students Protest the King County Bar Association's Support for a New Juvenile Detention Center


If WHAT was happening at a restaurant, we'd shut it down? Bad unlivable conditions? That's what the new center is supposed to fix!

But, the way Ansel writes it, "if a restaurant were incarcerating black people more than white people, we'd shut it down." Which, if a restaurant was incarcerating ANYBODY, we'd shut it down (that's not a restaurant's job).

Or, maybe the bar association is the It, and he means a restaurant supporting incarceration of children along poverty lines (which, in Seattle, also falls largely along racial lines).

Listen, I don't like incarcerating kids any more than the next person, but a small portion of kids deserve to be in there (and there are probably some rich white kids who should be in there but have connections that have been keeping them out). We need a juvie, and it should be a decent, well maintained, comfortable building, not a shitshow like we have now. There will always be teenagers who need to be rehabbed away from modern society. There are underage sexual criminals, murderers, violent bullies, and other various deviants. Should they have to do their time in a building falling apart?

Zero youth incarceration is ridiculous. If we do somehow get there in the future, yay. But, until then, should we incarcerate youth in a building falling apart at the seams?
What about this juvenile?…

Or this one?…

Or these ones?…

If we're not going to detain these juveniles after they commit murder, perhaps those opposed to building a new facility could offer up their spare bedrooms. I'm sure there's no risk at all and it'll all work out fine.
I am in full support of Miguel Willis's decision and incredibly proud of all the law students, youth organizers, and community members who are standing up for our youth. There are alternatives to incarceration that can interrupt cycles of violence, hold people accountable while still addressing the root causes of incarceration. I find it interesting we're up in arms over an old building and the harm that can cause, but turn our faces from the poverty, violence, trauma, and other social factors affecting our youth. There is a context to everything, incarceration is not the answer. The criminal justice system disproportionately impacts youth of color, in fact in Washington state at a rate worse than nearly anywhere else in the country. This is unacceptable and must end.
Susan, people supporting the jail aren't turning a blind eye to poverty. But, there are some very good reasons to incarcerate a youth that cross poverty levels. Murder and rape, for instance, should be considered crimes suitable for incarceration.

That said, the Justice department is racially unequal, and that must stop. But, shutting the whole thing down isn't the answer.
@3 - can this guy stay with you then instead of being incarcerated?…