Part I of this report provides the core work of the subcommittee and is intended to function as a stand-alone document, expressed in youth- friendly language, that sets forth: (1) the youth-articulated goals for systemic change to the juvenile legal system; (2) a narrative of how the system currently works and the harms caused; and (3) the change needed to bring about the youth-articulated goals for systemic change. This document is intended to be a youth-centered blueprint for change—a tool for community advocates, a framework for policy makers, and a call-in to the many institutional actors to center the leadership of youth and community and collaborate on implementing these recommendations.
Part II provides a summary of the persistent overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile legal system. Part III provides the necessary historical lens on the juvenile legal system, exposing the racist roots of the system and detailing the ways in which the system was intentionally designed to benefit white children and punish Black and brown children. The historical context provides the necessary lens for Part IV, which discusses the harms caused by the juvenile legal system, including the accumulated disadvantages and disparities, the harms caused by law enforcement and criminal courts, and the enduring collateral consequences of prosecuting youth. Part V, picks up where the 2012 Report left off when it noted, without further examination, that other system failures feed into the observed race disproportionalities in the juvenile legal system. This part attempts to provide a sketch of the ecosystem that youth navigate as they grow up, systems that, in theory, are ultimately to help children but continue to fail children of color in significant ways. Finally, Part VI sets forth the subcommittee’s policy recommendations regarding the juvenile legal system and education system.
Task Force 2.0 Juvenile Justice Subcommittee, Race in Washington’s Juvenile Legal System: 2021 Report to the Washington Supreme Court, 45 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 1025 (2022).
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