Activists protest proposed Seattle youth jail

Activists protest proposed Seattle youth jail

SEATTLE — Roughly 200 activists gathered Sunday to fight against King County’s plan to tear down a juvenile detention center – and build a new one in its place.

The county says the new facility is desperately needed. Activists, however, disagree.

They say the community should watch over juvenile offenders instead of a public facility.

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The current center is located on 12th and Spruce in Seattle. King County initially proposed the plan back in 2012 – the activist group has been fighting against the proposal for about a year.

The group says it represents over 50 different organizations, including Black Lives Matter. Roughly 200 members attended Sunday’s rally.

The facility would cost about $210 million to build. The group says that King County voters were mislead when they were voting for it last February.

The group reasons that youth jails disproportionately affect black youth.

The County, however, says that the current facility is aging and falling apart.

If built, the number of beds in the new facility would be reduced from 212 at the current detention center to 112.

Still, the activists say there is no need for the detention center.

There is no clear date for when the construction would start if approved.