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The 180 Program works to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system, bringing community leaders and prosecutors together to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Participating youth avoid criminal prosecution by completing the 180 Workshop. A comprehensive aftercare program provides services to help these youth stay out of the juvenile justice system and move toward a more productive life.
By helping youth of color and other youth throughout King County, the 180 Program intervenes at a critical point to remove barriers for these youth to grow, strengthens communities, and saving over $500,000 a year in tax dollars which would otherwise be spent on criminal prosecution, court costs and juvenile incarceration. To date, this partnership has diverted over 1,400 youth away from the juvenile justice system.
The 180 Program consists of two elements: the half-day 180 Workshop, and Beyond 180 (follow-up aftercare). The 180 Workshop uses an innovative and evidence-based approach to improving the culture of youth engagement by engaging inspiring representatives from the communities where these youth live, many of whom experienced similar struggles as young people. Through a combination of large-group presentations, engaging ice-breaker activities, and small-group personal discussions, workshop participants learn to make better choices. Beyond 180 connects youth with appropriate aftercare services so they are equipped with the support they need to avoid becoming another society-rejected juvenile justice system statistic.