Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $270,891)
This program will support the selected State Planning Grantee's efforts to develop a data-driven, statewide, juvenile justice reform strategic plan. The plan will include recommendations to improve both public safety and outcomes for youth, their families, and the communities in which they live. In addition, the plan will detail how the state will reinvest the savings they realize through reduced use of out-of home placement and increased use of effective alternatives, including early intervention, diversion, and evidence-based programs, to ensure sustainability of reform efforts.
Washington States Department of Social and Health Services will develop a statewide juvenile justice reform strategic plan. The plan will focus on reforms that will reduce the number of lower level offenders who are placed in out-of-home detention facilities and the number of youth of color who are detained. This will be done by increasing strategies to reduce referrals to the juvenile justice system, diverting youth from the formal court process, and increasing alternatives to detention and further involvement in the juvenile justice system. The plan will emphasize strategies to increase engagement of law enforcement, communities of color, and other stakeholders (such as schools) that are situated to reduce referrals and arrests and build supportive collaborations to increase the likelihood of achieving the reforms. Reducing the number of lower level offenders, particularly youth of color, who enter the deep end of the juvenile justice system will improve youth outcomes and public safety, reduce recidivism, and reduce costs to taxpayers.