New data available on Zero Youth Detention Data Dashboard

We’ve added new data to the Zero Youth Detention Data Dashboard, which we launched last year to share regular data updates about the juvenile legal system in King County.

In keeping with our guiding principle of transparency and accountability, this dashboard is a method for us to share progress on efforts to achieve the goal of Zero Youth Detention, but also to highlight the areas – primarily, racial disproportionality – where we need to do better.

Here are a few data highlights – visit the dashboard to learn more:

  • The number of youth in detention for juvenile offenses dropped, from 46 youth on average per day in 2017 to 37 youth in 2018. The number of youth charged with adult criminal matters being held in the Youth Services Center increased in 2018; in late 2017, Executive Constantine signed an Executive Order calling for any youth under 18 charged as adults to be held in the juvenile detention facility, not the adult facility. As a result, in 2018, youth charged as adults were transferred from the adult facility to the juvenile facility, which you’ll see reflected in our 2018 numbers on the dashboard.
  • The number of youth of color in detention also dropped. However, youth of color and youth who are Native continue to be disproportionately represented in secure detention, which is why we’re leading with racial equity.
  • One objective of Zero Youth Detention is diverting youth involved in the legal system to the least restrictive environment based on their individual needs. One of the ways we’ve done this is to expand the use of “alternatives to secure detention,” such as electronic monitoring. The overall number of detained youth decreased in 2018, and the proportion of those youth in “alternatives to secure detention” continued to increase, aligning with our ongoing efforts at diverting youth from secure detention.
  • The number of new youth entering the juvenile legal system decreased, and of those referred, the number of youth re-referred to the legal system within 12 months also went down. This aligns with our work at upstream community promotion and prevention and indicates promising results of efforts to support families of youth involved in the legal system in order to reduce rates of re-entry.

The dashboard is a work in progress. We’ll be updating it regularly as new data become available and we launch additional strategies to reach the goal of Zero Youth Detention.

Your input is important. Help improve the next release of the dashboard. What did you find helpful? What improvements would you like to see? What does success look like? Submit your feedback to, or through King County’s online form.