Tag Archive: 'Washington'

The “Becca Bill” 20 Years Later: Unintended Consequences

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Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Starcia Ague Photo

Status offenses such as running away may be a child’s most effective way to avoid sexual abuse at home. Washington’s Becca Bill can unwittingly abet dangerous situations that children are attempting to flee. ARY (At Risk Youth) orders cannot effectively slow the feeder mechanisms for child sexual abuse if they target symptoms—children’s behavior—rather than causes and, in some cases, ARY orders directly inhibit the child’s essential human rights, such as the right to withhold access to one’s own body.

The “Becca Bill” 20 Years Later: How Washington’s Truancy Laws Negatively Impact Children

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Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Starcia Ague Photo

The Becca laws have made Washington State the country’s foremost jailer of children for “status offenses” like skipping school. It allows parents to use legal petitions called ARY (At Risk Youth) to obtain court orders that require children to participate in social services, attend school, and obey guardians. However, poverty—not insufficient parental authority—is the primary cause of truancy. The law also makes things much harder for children who are already laboring under social stigma and racism. As momentum builds nationwide toward creating less punitive juvenile justice systems, it is time to examine our truancy laws.

Voices from the Field: Clark County’s Status Offense Reform Effort

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Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Jodi Martin, Models for Change Coordinator for Clark County (WA), describes how the current approach to truancy was developed to keep kids in schools and out of court.

Dual Status Youth: The Importance of Early Intervention and Successful Coordination

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Friday, August 15th, 2014

John Tuell headshot

The Status Offense Reform from a Different Lens blog series explores the ways in which the work of the four Models for Change Resource Centers intersects and overlaps. This series features the perspectives of experts from each of our fellow resource centers, who discuss topics such as mental health issues, indigent defense, and dual status […]