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Design concepts and facility programs are the result of more than a decade of gathering input from:

  • Child advocates

  • Neighborhood organizations

  • Social service providers

  • National foundations

  • Former users of the Youth Services Center

  • Juvenile-justice reform advocates
  • Community

    Changes and additions based on input

    Residents visiting open houses and information tables in Squire Park, Kent, West Seattle, Central District, Renton, Auburn, and Redmond

    In addition to four open houses, more than 3,000 people were contacted at CFJC information tables at eight community events.

    • Resource Center: The courthouse's Resource Center will be open to all youth and families, court-involved or not. The center will directly connect them with services closest to their homes.
    • Community Conference Room: A courthouse conference room can be reserved for public community use after-hours.


    Parents, youth, child advocates, public defenders, court staff

    The CFJC will have several amenities that are not currently available at the Youth Services Center, including all features listed on the right.

    • Free child daycare for court-involved families
    • Confidential space for client-attorney meetings
    • Healthy food to be served at courthouse cafe
    • Separate court waiting areas with natural light instead of one large waiting lobby with no windows
    • Calming interior design that reduces stress and is easier for users to navigate
    • A bus stop on 12th Avenue to increase public transit access to the CFJC
    • Drinkable water from fountains

    Juvenile-Justice Reform Advocates

    The County heard from many juvenile-justice reform advocates at public hearings and in-person meetings who want to see the size of the youth detention population and the detention center to be reduced to zero. The County is headed in that direction as we continue to reduce the size of the youth detention population and the youth detention facility itself.

    • Cap youth detention beds at 112: King County Executive Dow Constantine committed to capping the number of youth detention beds at 112, nearly half the number of detention beds today (212).
    • Dedicate extra space in CFJC to non-detention youth programs: The extra space has been dedicated to non-detention youth programs. King County will soon issue a Request for Information (RFI) to begin assessing what kind of programs could operate in the space.


    Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) and Seattle Design Commission

    The County and design team has met with the ten-member NAC since 2013. During the four-month design-verification process in the spring and summer of 2015, they met at least monthly. Seattle Design Commission representatives attended those meetings to provide additional feedback and perspective. The NAC and Design Commission members provided specific recommendations that resulted in several design changes.

    • 12th Avenue: The courthouse was set back 20 feet from the property line on 12th Avenue, forming a pedestrian overlay zone. This creates a public plaza and area for community engagement where vendors such as food trucks can activate the street and make it safer for pedestrians.
    • Alder Street Connection: Alder Street will be opened through the site to pedestrians and bicyclists. It may be suitable for community activities such as a farmer's market. The County is planning a public engagement process for programming open areas on the site.
    • 14th Avenue: The facade along 14th Avenue will reflect the nearby residential scale and character.
    • Parking Garage: A natural green screening on the garage helps the structure blend into the site more effectively.
    • Courthouse: The team spent extensive time refining the courthouse façade and its main entry to make it more welcoming and accessible.


    Public Outreach Timeline (2002 - Present)

    Community meetings, interactive design workshops and interviews in Squire Park neighborhood were conducted.
    The County held focus groups with court-involved youth, parents, and guardians to gather input on their needs and court building's existing service gaps. A group made up of youth advocates, juvenile justice experts and community members developed a plan for addressing the needs of youth and families.
    A steering committee met monthly to discuss developing a more therapeutic, trauma-informed replacement for the Youth Services Center. Members represented DSHS, Kent Youth and Family Services, King County Bar Association, Casey Family Programs, and the State Attorney General's Office.
    Three community meetings held to gather input on the site plan and take public comment on design improvements.
    The King County Council held two public hearings about the CFJC levy. Levy passed with support from 55.42% of Countywide voters and 65.07% of voters in the City of Seattle.
    The County hosted an open house and the first four Neighborhood Advisory Committee meetings. Quarterly project newsletters were mailed to more than 8,000 residents. More than 3,000 people were contacted at CFJC information tables at eight community events.
    The County organized two open houses in Seattle and Kent, conducted four NAC meetings and two land-use workshops, and hosted information tables at Squire Park and Garfield community events. Quarterly newsletters were mailed out. County representatives met with people opposed to the project at community meetings in Central District.
    The County presented a project update at the Squire Park Community Council, hosted a virtual open house in English and Spanish online, a public online design survey, and monthly Neighborhood Advisory Committee meetings (two in July). Staff from the County's Youth Services Center and Executive's Office attended and participated in the City of Seattle's racial equity analysis meetings, and attended a public City Council briefing to answer questions about the facility. A project update was mailed and emailed to those who have signed up for project updates. Request updates at

    Future Public Outreach

    • Open-area programming: The County is currently planning a public engagement process to address programming of several open areas on the CFJC property including an area on the northeast corner (at 14th Avenue and East Remington Court) and areas facing 12th Avenue.
    • Economic Opportunity and Empowerment Advisory Board: We'll seek feedback from this 11-member board as they aid the hiring of a diverse workforce for the CFJC project and help craft a targeted-local hire program aimed at helping economically distressed communities.
    • Non-detention youth program space: Because the County Executive cut and capped the detention bed count to 112 beds, there will be extra, non-detention space at the CFJC. The County will issue a public Request for Information (RFI) to begin assessing what kind of youth programs should operate in the extra space.
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    Website header art: Spirit of Our Youth by Marvin Oliver


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