In Washington state, King County is making big strides toward reforming its juvenile justice system

By Charlotte West,

As a high school sophomore, Jahila Moody had a 3.7 GPA and spent every spare minute at her local dance studio. She was doing so well her family decided she should return to Seattle after spending two years in California with her sister.

By the end of her junior year, she had been suspended from school, charged with a felony and misdemeanor, and was in danger of not graduating from high school.

At 15, she turned to theft and drug dealing because she didn’t see any other way to provide for herself. “I’m the baby [in my family] and everyone else had moved out,” Moody, who is now 18, said in an interview with Mic. “My mom stopped doing as much as she normally would.”

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