Peacemaking circle pilot shows new path for juvenile justice

King County Juvenile Court and the Prosecuting Attorney's Office tried its first felony case through a peacemaking circle, which incorporated victim advocates, mentors, family members and community leaders through months of what became a transformative mediation. A moderator who led a peacemaking circle movement in Boston is growing the practice here in King County.  A … Continue reading Peacemaking circle pilot shows new path for juvenile justice

New domestic-violence intervention reduces juvenile detention stays

Before the Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) program launched this year, the King County Prosecuting Attorney Office's options for helping families coping with domestic violence were too limited. About a third of juvenile detention bookings in recent years have involved youth committing violence against a family member. In addition to having a detention stay, … Continue reading New domestic-violence intervention reduces juvenile detention stays

Q & A with Garfield High restorative justice youth mediator Michael Greenstein

When King County Juvenile Court diverted a young offender into one of its first Restorative Mediation sessions, he didn't face a room of adults alone. Garfield High senior Michael Greenstein introduced himself to the teen, who was about to apologize to the victims he had assisted in burglarizing for the first time. The mediation would last about an hour … Continue reading Q & A with Garfield High restorative justice youth mediator Michael Greenstein

Restorative justice programs growing in King County schools and juvenile court

Looking for schools in King County that dare to handle discipline differently? And by different, we mean avoiding things like excessive and racially disproportionate use of suspension (and most definitely class interventions like this). Then you'll want to check out this recent IN Close report on Seattle's Garfield High School, where Principal Ted Howard is … Continue reading Restorative justice programs growing in King County schools and juvenile court

Q & A with Restorative Justice Leader Polly Davis

If a youth committed a crime against you, would you take the opportunity to sit down with that youth to talk about why they did it, how it impacted your life, and negotiate amends? For the last two years, Polly Davis has been betting there's a growing number of people who would as she helped lead the crafting of … Continue reading Q & A with Restorative Justice Leader Polly Davis

King County juvenile court judge: ‘I welcome the community’s agitation’

King County’s juvenile justice system has been under increasing pressure from youth advocacy and community groups to drastically improve the way the system works. And the pressure is welcome, says King County Juvenile Court Judge Wesley Saint Clair. The judge described his feelings toward the juvenile-justice reform movement this week in an interview with King … Continue reading King County juvenile court judge: ‘I welcome the community’s agitation’