Thursday, January 7, 2016

Letter to the Editor - Check it out

Around the holidays, the Seattle Times published a number of opinion articles and columns opposing the construction of a new juvenile justice center.  The old one is old, falling apart and unsafe.

The tenor of the articles was 'Don't lock up our kids, let's help them."

What do they think they do over in juvenile justice?  I've hung out there a lot.  I know how hard the staff work and how much they care about the kids..  Are more kids of color locked up then there should be?  Probably but that's no excuse for horrible facilities.  I do agree that the counseling, substance abuse, mentoring programs etc should continue and be funded at a higher rate.  Yes, yes.  But nobody should work in a horrible setting.  The juvenile justice system tries to do everything possible before secure detention.

So I wrote it up, passed it by Changes director and Board members, yes, they liked it.  Sent it to my writing group.  Revised, cleaned it up, sent it in.

You're supposed to give phone number and email address.  It says they will contact you if they use it.  I had a house full of people, all kinds of activities.  I never heard, really forgot I had sent it in.  The other day, I thought maybe I should look to see if it was in.

Turns out they published it Dec 30.  Imagine my surprise when Peter H mentioned how much he liked my letter. 

Gotta pay attention.  Picture is the current facility.

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