URGENT chance to oppose youth jail and courts



On January 28th, King County Council will attempt to take another step on their misguided path to spend $210 million to build a new youth jail and courts for King County’s youth by voting on the design-build team for the proposed facility. The tide is turning against this plan, and we must use every chance to let the county know: NO NEW YOUTH JAIL! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for action items! 



  • On December 10, 2014, King County announced that a contractor and two architects, together known as a “design-build” team had been selected for the new youth jail project
  • Both the contractor, Howard S. Wrightand the architectural firms HOK andIntegrus Architecture have profited from their so-called “justice” portfolios– designing and building police stationsjails, and prisons  to house the infrastructure of the racist criminal punishment system.
  • Integrus Architecture designed the Northwest Detention Centerin Tacoma, an immigration detention facility that cages thousands of migrants facing deportation each year. Integrus boasts on their website that they designed “a 40-bed maximum-security Special Housing Unit” as part of the facility; during the 56-day hunger strike by detainees this past May, this “Special Housing Unit” (a euphemism for solitary confinement) was used to isolate and punish the hunger strikers organizing to bring light to the center’s on-going human rights abuses.
  • The January 28thvote by the Budget and Finance Committee of the King County Council would approve granting these prisoner-profiteering companies a contract to design and build courts and cages for King County’s youth, spreading the architecture of misery.


  • As opposition to the project grows, King County is being pushed to answer directly to community members. After announcing the contractor/architect selection in December, the County began advertising an “open house” on January 24thto receive community input.
  • On January 23rdthe County cancelled the open house, opting instead for a “virtual” open house. This move limits feedback on the design to those with internet connection and computer access. More importantly, the cancelled open house signals that our opposition is working– so much so that the County is afraid to confront real people in real time about the controversial project.
  • Despite their unwillingness to meet with community members, the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee must hold a vote to approve the design/build team. The vote is happening on Wednesday, January 28th, at 1 p.m.



Keep the pressure on by telling the County to stop this jail-building project and instead invest in real solutions

  • E-mail: Budget and Fiscal Management Committee Members and let them know you want them to vote NO on the ordinance approving the development contract for the Children and Family Justice Center.

o   Cut and paste these e-mails: joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov;kathy.lambert@kingcounty.govjane.hague@kingcounty.gov;dave.upthegrove@kingcounty.gov;rod.dembowski@kingcounty.govlarry.gossett@kingcounty.gov

o   RSVP here for the upcoming People’s Tribunal on the Juvenile Justice System.




King County is hosting an Open House to discuss the proposed new youth jail and family court buildings NEXT SATURDAY, January 24th, at 11 AM.

We need to show up in large numbers to demand King County listen to what thousands of people have been saying for over two years: We don’t need a $210 million dollar new youth jail! We need to invest in alternatives to incarceration instead!


Please attend the open house at 1211 E Alder Street at 11 AM next Saturday! Please share this invitation with all of your networks! NO NEW YOUTH JAIL!


Cookies and refreshments provided.

Artists boycott the new youth jail in Seattle

Seattle artists say NO NEW YOUTH JAIL!

Seattle, King County, and Washington State artists DEMAND that our county and state stop building prisons for our youth.

We, the undersigned artists, will not accept compensation to decorate prisons and jails. We will not apply for grants for programs that prolong the cycle of incarceration, racism, and harm.

As artists, we will not accept 1% for art, as long as 21% of youth in detention are Black while making up just 6% of Washington’s youth population.

We say no to youth jails!

Youth jails don’t work. We won’t work for jails!

For more information and to SIGN THE PETITION, follow this link.

Critical opportunity to stop the Juvie!

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: tim.burgess@seattle.gov;nick.licata@seattle.govsally.clark@seattle.gov


Thanks for your solidarity!

Washington Incarceration Stops Here (WISH)


Sample e-mail:

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!



[your name]




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?

  1. 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.
  2. If you cannot attend, write a brief statement about why you oppose the building of the new youth jail. E-mail it to
  3. Help us with outreach and forward this email widely (flyer attached).

Talking points:

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.


Post-Prison Education Program

The Post-Prison Education Program has signed onto the Points of Unity!

“The goal of the Post-Prison Education Program is to dramatically reduce recidivism by harnessing the power of education and meeting the legitimate needs of former prisoners. Education opens the door to a living wage, clean and sober housing, empowered and responsible living and strengthened families—the most important factors in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and crime, thereby increasing community safety. The Post-Prison Education Program provides access to education and unwavering support through wrap around services including tuition, housing, groceries, daycare and intensive mentoring. The Program’s innovative approach provides extensive outreach in prisons and intensive support post-release.”

Palestine Solidarity Committee Seattle signs Points of Unity!

We’re very pleased to announce that Palestine Solidarity Committee Seattle has signed the Points of Unity!

The Palestine Solidarity Committee–Seattle supports Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, equal rights and self-determination.  We call for an end to US military and economic aid to Israel while Israel violates international law by engaging in a consistent pattern of gross and systematic human rights abuses against Palestinians. We work to educate the public, the media, and our governmental representatives about Palestine and the role of the US in supporting the Israeli occupation.  PSC is a local support group for the International Solidarity Movement.  We are a non-hierarchical, grassroots, democratic organization and we welcome new members who share our goals.