This Comment gives a practical overview of the Becca Bill and its provisions and addresses the potentially dangerous ramifications of the bill. Part II of this Comment gives a brief history of the trends in juvenile justice in this country, establishing a context for what led to the Becca Bill's passage. Part III of this Comment gives a brief history of Washington's statutes dealing with status offenders. This section then outlines the key portions of the Becca Bill, focusing primarily on the “lockup” provision and new petitions available to parents in order to obtain court intervention into the lives of their unmanageable children. Part IV of this Comment addresses potential problems with the Becca Bill as enacted. Part IV also examines the practice of “bootstrapping” juvenile status offenders into the criminal justice system through the bill's contempt of court provisions.This Comment concludes that not only is the Becca Bill not working in practice, but that it represents a dangerous trend back to the days of parens patriae and excessive court intervention into the lives of noncriminal youths.
Alison G. Ivey, Washington's Becca Bill: The Costs of Empowering Parents, 20 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 125 (1996).