Office of Juvenile Justice

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SMART ON JUVENILE JUSTICE: Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Planning Project

The Rehabilitation Administration - RA has received grant funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to support a Smart on Juvenile Justice: Statewide Juvenile Justice Reform Planning project. The two-year effort will develop a statewide plan to improve public safety and outcomes for youth, focused on reducing the out-of-home placement of juveniles committing status and low-level offenses. The project also will explore ways to reduce racial disparity in juvenile justice referral, detention and incarceration rates. The Council of State Governments Justice Center will provide training and technical assistance.

On June 15, 2017, Rehabilitation Administration Assistant Secretary Marybeth Queral and Center for Children & Youth Justice President Bobbe Bridge spoke on TVW Inside Olympia.

How is our juvenile justice system working, and does it need reform? 

https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2017061038

The Smart on Juvenile Justice Reform Planning process is a collaboration of more than 40 members of the institutions, organizations, and individuals involved and affected by the affected by the system who serve on a task force chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge, founding CEO and President of the Center for Children & Youth Justice.

For more information about the task force, please contact the Office of Juvenile Justice at (360) 902-0801 or email coil.alice@dshs.wa.gov

What We Do

The Office of Juvenile Justice - OJJ 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. 

Monitoring of compliance with federal laws:  In order to receive federal block grant funds related to juvenile justice, the state must achieve and maintain compliance with the four core requirements of the Act:

  • 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 programs: The Partnership also administers Annie E. Casey Foundation and state funding specifically for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative; 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 provides information and recommendations to the Governor and other juvenile justice stakeholders. It promotes partnerships and innovations to 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.