The Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice was established via Executive Order 10-03 on September 13, 2010. The Partnership Council is charged with being "the primary state planning agency for matters pertaining to juvenile justice in the state of Washington."
The WA-PCJJ meets the requirements for state advisory group membership per 42 U.S.C. 5633, Sec. 223(a)(3)(A) of the federal JJDP Act, including that at least one-fifth of the membership be under the age of 24 at the time of appointment. Gordon McHenry, Jr. is the appointed Chair of the WA-PCJJ, and Judge James Orlando, Pierce County Superior Court, is Vice Chair. The Council is staffed by the Office of Juvenile Justice, within the Rehabilitation Administration, DSHS.
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.
WA-PCJJ Mission for Washington’s Juvenile Justice System:
- Fairness – All hearings and decisions under the Juvenile Justice Act and all services and strategies implemented 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:
To define and determine the functioning of Washington’s juvenile justice system, the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice presents the following guiding principles. These principles are consistent with the principles contained in existing state law. They are also consistent with the Council’s understanding of best practice in juvenile justice system implementation. They should guide the overall operation of the juvenile justice system and be reflected in the nature of all programs and services provided. They should shape policy decisions within the system, as well as relationships forged with victims, offenders and their families and the general public.
Our Belief: Reducing the involvement of youth in the juvenile justice system begins with prevention, and prevention requires collaboration among all youth serving systems.
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 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 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 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.
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 their mission by collaborating with other 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 JJDP Act, including DSO, DMC, 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.