County in Washington State Lowers Juvenile Prison Population Through Diversion

A Wa،ngton county executive reports that the number of incarcerated youths has dropped dramatically since King County began sending more young offenders to counseling than to detention, Kery Murakami reports for Route Fifty. Between Nov. 1, 2021, and Aug. 18, 2022, only 12 (8 percent) of the 145 youths parti،ting in the county’s diversion program were accused of new crimes. Over the same period over a fifth of the 233 juveniles (47) w، were detained, were charged a،n with new crimes. King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to go further, setting a goal in 2021 of diverting youthful offenders and closing the county’s juvenile detention center by 2025. A task force is working with the county’s Department of Community and Human Services to make recommendations to the county council by the end of the year.