Dear Executive Constantine:
The Public Defender Association (PDA) advocates for justice system reform and develops alternatives that shift from a punishment paradigm to a system that supports individual and community health. We write to you today to urge you and the King County Council to embrace the moratorium on continued construction of the new youth detention facility.
We understand that you, Councilmembers, judges, most public defenders and many community leaders, including some who have come to re-think their support, originally proposed this facility with the bests of intentions, and that a majority of voters agreed to pay for it. We also understand that, at least in the near term and despite rhetorical commitments to seeking Zero Youth Detention, some young people will be arrested and detained on suspicion of having committed serious crimes, and agree that there must be a detention option for those young people other than adult jails.