Adolescence is not only a time of change, but it is a time of rebellion for many kids. Crime among juveniles has been a decades-long problem in America. Washington has not been immune to this problem. Many people think the criminal justice system in the United States was not set up to favor juvenile offenders. Fortunately, great strides have been made in recent years to reform the juvenile justice system in King County.
Zero youth detention
Research and studies have shown that juveniles have a better chance at living a positive adulthood when they are able to avoid the legal system. In a program known as Zero Youth Detention, families and communities engage with youth offenders and build on their strengths rather than send them straight into the justice system. In some cases, legal system involvement is completely avoidable. The program’s goal is to give all juveniles the opportunity to be happy, healthy and safe.
Uniting for youth
Formerly known as the King County Systems Integration Initiative, the Uniting for Youth program is a collaborative effort from several organizations to help troubled youth. The Uniting for Youth program consists of a body of local and state youth-serving agencies who come together to examine and improve services for juveniles involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems here. The program has helped bring support for juveniles who have educational and/or mental health needs.
Options for legal help
The prevailing sentiment in King County is that all youths deserve the chance to grow into happy, healthy adults. Those who have been charged with juvenile offenses in Washington have options available, such as the right to seek legal representation. An attorney experienced in representing juveniles can provide invaluable guidance and work to obtain the most favorable outcome.