“Judge Clark’s greatest legacy will be those young people who thanks to alternatives such as Drug Court and Family Court, are given an opportunity to become thriving members of the community, and not just another young person in jail.”
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Larry Gossett and Council Chair Larry Phillips released this statement on the passing of retired King County Superior Court Judge Patricia Clark:
“Judge Clark made a tremendous contribution to not only to the Superior Court, but to the idea that King County needed to change its paradigm when it came to addressing the situation of young people who became involved in the criminal justice system.
“In Judge Clark’s courtroom, defendants were treated with justice, but also with the idea that they were young people who needed guidance and lessons. Beyond her family, Judge Clark’s greatest legacy will be those young people who thanks to alternatives such as Drug Court and Family Court, are given an opportunity to become thriving members of the community, and not just another young person in jail.”
Clark had been involved in both social work and youth services before going to law school at the University of Washington After serving as a prosecutor, Judge Clark was appointed to the King County Superior Court in 1998.
During her time on the court, Clark served as the Chief Judge for the Juvenile Division of the King County Superior Court as well as serving as the Presiding Judge for both the King County Family Court and the County’s innovative Drug Court program.
Clark was a strong advocate for alternatives to incarceration for youth and the disproportionality of sentencing youth of color, chairing the Disproportionality Committees (adult and juvenile) for the King County Regional Law Safety and Justice Committee, and the Racial Disparity in Dependency Committee.