Keeping Kids Out of the System: An Examination and Analysis of King County Juvenile Diversion

"Keeping Kids Out of the System: An Examination and Analysis". Law, Societies, and Justice Group Honors Report, 2017.

Juvenile diversion, which is an alternative to formal court processing for youth accused of misdemeanor crimes, is a significant component of the King County Juvenile Justice System. The three juvenile diversion processes in King County include Community Accountability Boards (CABs), the 180 Program (sometimes referred to as a Saturday Seminar), and Juvenile Probation Counselor (JPC) Supervised Diversion. We were asked to gather and analyze data about the diversion process. Our specific research questions included:

  • Are there any patterns -- in terms of race, gender, geography, or offense type -- in the practice of referrals of juveniles accused of misdemeanor offenses to any diversion program offered through the King County juvenile justice process?
  • Are any of these factors associated with the rates of completion of individuals in any of these diversion programs?
  • To the extent that any patterns or associations noted above occur, what plausible explanations might exist for them?

We compiled 2014 King County juvenile diversion data and analyzed patterns we observed regarding rates of completion, referral processes, and offense types. We also conducted qualitative research by attending diversion programs, interviewing court and diversion actors, and studying relevant literature.

Authors: Audrey Airut Murphy; Elizabeth Berry; Sarah Brenden; Xavier Frank; Clara Manahan; Cait Nold; Marisa Russell; Komalpreet Kaur Sahota; Eleana Stevens; Capriel Stevenson; and Lindsey Townsend.

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