State of Washington v. B.O.J

This court case is completed

ACLU-WA filed an amicus brief with other amici in a case in which a juvenile was sentenced to an exceptionally harsh sentence for misdemeanor crimes because the court decided they were unlikely to comply with services in the community. The court reasoned that the juvenile’s history of running away from foster care placements put them in need of a significantly longer sentence in detention resulting in an excessive one-year sentence. Research demonstrates that detention does not result in rehabilitation for juveniles and, if anything, increases rates of recidivism. This excessive sentence will not do anything to increase the safety and well-being of the juvenile or their community. We asked the court to reverse the sentences and to declare that a history of trauma, vulnerability, and dependency should not be a factor that increases sentences in juvenile cases.