Office of Juvenile Justice

Latest News

WA State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ) Launches Initiative to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Washington's Juvenile Justice System and Releases Funding Opportunity.

It is well established that youth of color are significantly over represented in the juvenile justice system in Washington. Statewide data for Washington in 2012 shows that generally, R.E.D. does exist at all levels of the state juvenile justice system.  African American youth are arrested at almost twice the rate of White youth, youth of color are referred to juvenile court at a much higher rate than White youth, overall non-white youth are diverted significantly less often than White youth, and American Indian and African American youth are disproportionately securely detained at disproportionate rates. These disparities are the result of numerous inter-related factors, some of which exist within the structures of current juvenile justice policies and practices and some of which are influenced by unconscious and implicit biases.

To that end, the WA-PCJJ is launching an Initiative to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Washington’s Juvenile Justice SystemThe R.E.D. Initiative goals are to:  reduce the disparities experienced by  youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile justice system and reduce implicit bias in policies, practice, and decision-making.

As part of the WA-PCJJ Initiative to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities, the WA-PCJJ is seeking proposals to develop the needed local infrastructure and planning to address and reduce racial and ethnic disparities at the arrest and referral decision point in the juvenile justice system.  The arrest and referral decision points have been identified as the place where Washington State has the greatest racial and ethnic disparities (Washington State DMC Assessment).

The WA-PCJJ is interested in proposals that are designed to develop community capacity for institutional and community change and a roadmap to accomplish this change; proposals that demonstrate the local, long term commitment and political will to address identified racial and ethnic disparities (with a focus on the arrest and referral decision points); proposals that include stakeholders from the community, a process for community engagement and that will work with a consultant to identifying the root causes for identified disparities and develop the plan to initiate change. 

Funded initiatives that can successfully demonstrate their readiness to implement a racial and ethnic disparities plan with long term commitment from stakeholders and a high level of community engagement may be eligible for up to two years of additional funding for plan implementation, dependent on availability of federal funds.

Click here to view Request for Proposals.

Click here to view notes from March 5th Q&A Call.

 

 

Bulletin ReleasedA Summary of Washington State Data and Recent Study Findings: The Transfer of Youth (under age 18) to the Adult Criminal Justice System.

The WA-PCJJ released a bulletin summarizing recent data and study findings on the transfer of youth.  Download the bulletin here.

The Effectiveness of Declining Juvenile Court Jurisdiction of Youth

The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice - WAPCJJ initiated and funded a study conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy - "The Effectiveness of Declining Juvenile Court Jurisdiction of Youth". Elizabeth Drake, Senior Research Associate, WSIPP, presented the findings from the study to the Council at the WA-PCJJ January 23rd meeting.

From the meta-analysis of all available literature that was conducted as part of the study, it was found there was a statistically significant increase in recidivism when juveniles are automatically declined from the juvenile court (see page 13 of the report).

New OJJ Program Coordinator

The Office of Juvenile Justice welcomes W. Mike Davison to their team.  Mike has joined OJJ as a Program Coordinator and comes to us from JR Region 3 where he was a Program Manager for the last 12 years.  Mike started his career at Mission Creek Youth Camp and has been with JR for 20 years. 

Washington State JDAI Steering Committee Booklet on JDAI

The Washington State JDAI Steering Committee has released a booklet on JDAI in WA State - "Improving Our Juvenile Justice System: Washington's JDAI." We invite you to review the outcomes of the JDAI sites in Washington!

What We Do

Office of Juvenile Justice

The Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) is the designated office within DSHS that is responsible for monitoring Washington State’s compliance with the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.  Additionally, OJJ provides staff support to the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ). 

Monitoring of Federal Laws:  In order to receive federal Title II Formula block grant funds, the state must commit to achieve and maintain compliance with the four core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA):

  • Eliminating or preventing the placement of non-offending youth (such as a dependent or neglected child) and status offenders (such as a runaway or truant) in secure facilities.(Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders, or DSO)

  • Eliminate the confinement of juveniles in adult jails and lockups.(Jail Removal)

  • Ensure complete sight and sound separation of juveniles from adult offenders in secure facilities (such as adult jails and lockups), when they are held.(Separation)

  • Address juvenile delinquency prevention and system improvement efforts designed to reduce the disproportionate number of juvenile members of minority groups who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.(Disproportionate Minority Contact, or DMC)

Funding and ProgramsIn addition to the federal Title II (Part B) Formula Grant Program funds, the WA-PCJJ administers Annie E. Casey Foundation and State funding specifically for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI); state funding for the Criminal Street Gang Prevention and Intervention Grant Program (established in 2012); and pass-through state dollars for the TeamChild Program.

The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ) is the State Advisory Group for the state of Washington and complies with all federal requirements pursuant to 42 U.S.C 5601-5681, and 42 U.S.C. 5781-5784.  They were established from Executive Order 10-03. The WA-PCJJ serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor as required by federal regulation and provides information and recommendations to the Governor and other juvenile justice stakeholders.  The WA-PCJJ is the designated primary advisory state planning group for matters pertaining to juvenile justice in the state of Washington.

The WA-PCJJ’s mission is to promote partnerships and innovations that improve outcomes for juvenile offenders and their victims, to build family and community capacity to prevent delinquency, and to provide analysis and expertise to state and local policymakers.

For additional information regarding the WA-PCJJ membership and priorities, please click here.