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African American kids are mostly arrested for crimes that Caucasian American kids commit at higher rates and more often. Drug crimes. (http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/07/st…)
Also, Black and Latino kids are more likely to be arrested for any incident witnessed by King County law enforcement than White kids (to whom law enforcement witness the same questionable event). (http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_c…)
So yes, it is indicative of racism in the County justice system.
@7 The proposition is to redevelop the space. That would mean demolishing the old one and building a new one. The plan is to better incorporate it into the neighborhood and also create a more safe, service accessible space.
I never thought I'd be in the position of pushing for a new prison space, but since institutional racism in our justice community isn't going to end tomorrow, and since we have a paramount duty to rehabilitate and not just lock-up youth, we need a new space. The concept of making the detention facility more integrated into the neighborhood, offering mentoring/adjustment/support services, safe spaces for youth to meet with family and attorneys seems to be on-par with what Baltimore did. To be clear, Baltimore didn't stop detention of youth, they just wanted to expand and the community said no. This is shrinking our bed facility and adding more space for needed services. It's on par with our long-term vision of reducing/eliminating youth detention, but doing so in a pragmatic, and most importantly safe, way.