The movement against the building of the new juvenile jail and courts is picking up steam, and THIS THURSDAY (September 18) at 2 PM we have a critical opportunity to stop the project in its tracks. (If you want a refresher/more background on King County’s youth jail-building project, check out our FAQs).
Although the new juvenile jail is a project of King County, the Seattle City Council gets to vote on the land use components. The Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability committee of the City Council will be hearing from community members about the jail proposal this Thursday from 2 pm – 3 pm at City Hall. We need to let them know WE OPPOSE the building of the new jail and court buildings.
Let’s make it politically impossible for the city council members to help the new jail project move forward. The FIRST step is having a huge showing at this Thursday’s public hearing at 2 PM at 600 4th Ave. Please see the call-out from YUIR/EPIC/European Dissent below, and spread the word to your networks! The Council needs to see our faces and hear our words to make the right decision. Bring your signs! Bring your friends! Get ready to tell the committee how you feel about caging youth!
RSVP Here to let us know you’re coming: https://www.facebook.com/events/558773890919152/
If you can’t make it in person, please e-mail the members of the planning committee (see sample e-mail below). Here are their addresses to copy/paste: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your solidarity!
Washington Incarceration Stops Here (WISH)
Dear Council Members:
[introduce yourself, and let them council know if you are a resident of the Central District (where the juvi jail project is located), work in the Central District (for example, if you are an SU employee), are a resident of Seattle, are a parent or youth, are affiliated with any organizations/religious groups, etc.]
I am writing to you today to ask you to vote NO on Council Bill 118202. I am opposed to the construction of the new Children and Family Justice Center.
The Planning, Land Use, Sustainability, and Committee should not make it easier for King County to build a facility that targets youth of color, destroys lives, and does not make us safer. Please vote no on CB118202!
We are rapidly approaching a critical opportunity for community members to raise our concerns publicly about the new youth jail. Youth Undoing Institutional Racism, End the Prison Industrial Complex & European Dissent need YOU to speak out in front of the Seattle City Council THIS WEEK.
Thursday, September 18th 2:00 – 3:00pm
600 Fourth Ave. Seattle, WA 98104
City Hall Council Chambers
The Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee of the Seattle City Council is holding a hearing to decide whether or not to grant the permits that are needed to build the new youth jail. Up until now, the “community input” that King County has gathered has been from an all White group of neighbors. The current design reflects the cosmetic needs of this group and ignores the voices of those who will be most deeply impacted. Tell the City Council to listen to community and VOTE NO on all youth jail permits.
What can you do?
- Attend the hearing on Thursday, September 18 from 2:00 – 3:00pmat City Hall and share a 1-2 minute testimony about why you oppose the building permits being issued.
- If you cannot attend, write a brief statement about why you oppose the building of the new youth jail. E-mail it to
- Help us with outreach and forward this email widely (flyer attached).
Incarceration harms young people. There are many alternatives to incarceration that have been utilized in other places such as Multnomah County. We should be working towards a future in which caging our children is not necessary rather than continuing to pour money into a broken system.
We need community accountability. Community accountability has been completely lacking during the process of deciding to build and design the new youth jail. Those who are most affected by the juvenile justice system have a critical perspective that has been silenced.
An anti-racist approach is needed. 8% of young people in King County are Black. The current youth jail is 42% Black. The disproportionality of our current youth jail is the result of systemic racism. The King County jail will continue to incarcerate youth of color at higher rates unless we fundamentally change the system.