New data is now available on the Zero Youth Detention Data Dashboard. We launched the Data Dashboard last year to share regular updates on the juvenile legal system in King County.


This update shows new data for the first quarter of 2019, and also reflects updates to previously-shared 2018 data.

In November 2017, King County Executive Constantine signed an Executive Order authorizing all young people under 18 who had been charged as adults to be held at the Youth Services Center in Seattle, rather than in the adult Regional Justice Center. This Executive Order included transferring all young people under 18 who were previously held at the adult facility to the juvenile facility. These young people were transferred to the juvenile facility in late 2017, but data on these young people only recently became available. Therefore, we’ve updated the 2018 data in the Data Dashboard to reflect these additional young people being held in juvenile detention.

As a result of these additional youth, when you’re looking at graphs on the Data Dashboard, you’ll see an increase in the number of youth in secure detention in 2018, and an increase in some racial disparities in 2018. This increase does not reflect more young people being detained in 2018 compared to previous years; instead, this uptick represents the addition of young people who had previously been housed in the adult facility.


  • The number of young people in detention dropped, from 52.7 young people on average per day in 2018 to 44.2 on average per day in the first quarter of 2019.
  • The overall number of youth of color in detention also dropped in Q1 2019 compared to 2018. However, youth of color and youth who are Native continue to be over-represented in secure detention. While young people (ages 10-17) who are black make up 10% of the King County youth population, they represent over 50% of young people in secure detention. This is why we are 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 young people in any type of detention decreased in Q1 2019 compared to 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 Data 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.