The MacArthur Foundation has awarded a 5-year grant of $10 million to improve juvenile justice in six Washington counties (Benton, Clark, Franklin, King, Pierce and Spokane). Governor's Press Release, June 1, 2007:
Reform efforts will focus on three areas:Justice Bobbe J. Bridge will step down from the bench at the end of this year to become founding president of the Center for Children & Youth Justice, the non-profit organization that will work on the projects. Washington Courts Press Release, June 1, 2007.
- Reducing the disproportionate over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system;
- Reducing reliance on incarceration and increasing effective intervention options for youth engaging in problem behavior such as truancy, so that court intervention is truly the option of last resort; and
- Improving mental health screening, assessment and access to effective mental health services, to reduce the number of youth becoming involved in the juvenile justice system because of untreated mental health needs.
Justice Bridge has long been active in children's legal issues. In addition to her volunteer work, she and her husband endowed the Bobbe & Jonathan Bridge Professorship in Children and Family Advocacy here at the UW, a post held by Prof. Lisa Kelly.
Photo of Justice Bridge from Washington Courts.