The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice (WA-PCJJ)

The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice, established in 2010, is the primary planning agency for juvenile justice-related matters in Washington. The Council is staffed by the Office of Juvenile Justice within the Rehabilitation Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services.

Mission:

Promote partnerships and innovations that improve outcomes for juvenile offenders and their victims, that build family and community capacity to prevent delinquency, and provide analysis and expertise to state and local policymakers.

Mission for Washington’s Juvenile Justice System:

  • Fairness – All hearings and decisions under the Juvenile Justice Act and all services and strategies to achieve system missions are provided in a fair and unbiased manner to all participants.
  • Community protection – All Washington’s citizens deserve to be and feel safe from crime.
  • Youth accountability – Youth offenders understand the impact of their actions on the victim and the community, accept responsibility for their actions and experience consequences that balance the impact of their actions with what will be effective for their rehabilitation.
  • Victim restoration – A juvenile who commits a crime harms the victim of the crime and the community, and thereby incurs an obligation to repair that harm to the greatest extent possible.
  • Youth rehabilitation – Juvenile offenders have strengths, are capable of change, can earn redemption, and can become responsible and productive members of their communities.

Guiding principles for Washington’s juvenile justice system:

The Partnership Council operates under the following guiding principles. These principles are consistent with state law and with the Council’s understanding of best practices in juvenile justice. They should guide the  operation of the juvenile justice system and be reflected in all programs and services. They should shape policy decisions within the system, as well as relationships forged with victims, offenders and their families and the public.

  • Prevention

Our belief: Reducing the involvement of youth in the juvenile justice system begins with prevention, and prevention requires collaboration among all systems that serve youth.

  • Rehabilitation

Our belief: Juvenile offenders have strengths, are capable of change, can earn redemption, and can become responsible and productive members of their communities; brain science has established that there are fundamental developmental differences between adolescents and adults which must be taken into account in designing programs of prevention and intervention.

  • Community protection

Our belief: All Washington’s citizens deserve to be and feel safe from crime.

  • Youth accountability/restorative justice

Our belief: Youth offenders should understand the effects of their actions on the victim and the community, accept responsibility for their actions and experience consequences that balance the impact of their actions with what will be effective for their rehabilitation.

  • Victim support

Our belief: A juvenile who commits a crime harms the victim of the crime and the community, and thereby incurs an obligation to repair harm to the greatest extent possible.

  • Fairness

Our belief: All hearings and decisions under the Juvenile Justice Act and all services and strategies implemented to achieve system missions should be provided in a fair and unbiased manner to all participants.

  • Racial and ethnic disparities

Our belief: The juvenile justice system must be free of any bias based on race or ethnicity; the well-being of minority communities and of our whole society requires affirmative steps to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.

  • Juvenile justice system operations

Our belief: Washington’s juvenile justice system should be driven by its mission, focused on outcomes and measured by its performance.

Strategies and approaches:

The Council fulfills its mission by collaborating with public and private partners to:

  • Promote and sustain partnerships to improve juvenile justice outcomes at the state and local levels.
  • Implement the provisions of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP), including deinstitutionalization of status offenders, disproportionate minority contact, jail removal and sight and sound separation.
  • Develop funding priorities and award federal JJDP funds, as well as other public and private funds, to local communities, and advocate for delinquency prevention and improvements in the juvenile justice system.
  • Inform and educate elected officials, policy advisors, community leaders and the public on juvenile justice trends, best practices and implications for juvenile justice reforms through research and policy briefs.
  • Promote research-based preventive and rehabilitative programs.
  • Support juvenile justice reform initiatives and work to reduce disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system.
  • Encourage responses to juvenile delinquency that are restorative for both youth and communities.
  • Serve as an information resource for juvenile juvenile and delinquency prevention issues.
  • Sponsor and promote public education programs on juvenile justice issues.
  • Provide education and training for and facilitate information exchange between stakeholders on juvenile justice-related best practices.