I. Introduction

The quality of our state's future depends upon the strength of our families and upon our ability to ensure the safe, healthy, and disciplined development of our children.

Over the past twenty years, increasing numbers of young people have found themselves facing problems many adults can scarcely imagine; hard-core substance abuse, delinquency, school failure, teen pregnancy and deadly violence have become almost common place in our children's schools and in their lives.

In 1977, the Washington legislature passed the Juvenile Justice Act, adopting laws relating to juvenile offenders, family reconciliation, youth at risk, and dependency proceedings for children whose parents may not be meeting their obligations.

That year marked the last major revision of Washington's juvenile laws. Since then, the lives of our state's children and youth have changed dramatically, as evidenced by the following:

Since 1977, in an effort to address the needs of the growing number of young people in trouble, the legislature has enacted several additional taws relating to children youth, and families. However, there has not been a comprehensive review of the 1977 Juvenile Justice Act and these later laws to determine whether their objectives and assumptions remain valid in light of the vastly different lives and problems of today's children and families, to assess their relationship to one another, or to determine their effectiveness in meeting their objectives.

II. Council on Families, Youth, and Justice

WHEREAS, the citizens of Washington rightfully expect that our juvenile system will protect our children and youth from abuse and neglect, assist troubled families, emphasize parental involvement and accountability, help prevent delinquent behavior, provide swift and certain punishment, and ensure public safety;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mike Lowry, Governor of the State of Washington, by virtue of the power vested in me, do hereby establish the Council on Families, Youth, and Justice.

The mission of the Council is to perform a comprehensive review of Washington's juvenile laws and to recommend modifications to these laws that will result in an integrated juvenile system that is effective in meeting its objectives, as well as in meeting the needs of the children, youth, and families it serves, and that will result in the prudent use of limited state resources. The Council's mission also includes the development of a state-wide strategy for preventing children and youth from entering the juvenile system.

The Council shall be composed of four work groups, as follows: (1) Juvenile Offenders Work Group; (2) Youth in Crisis Work Group; (3) Dependency Work Group; and, (4) Prevention Strategies Work Group. The Governor shall appoint a chair for each work group. The four work group chairs shall serve as co-chairs of the Council. The work groups shall be composed of at least 10, but not more than 17, members. The membership of each work group shall be appointed by its chair, subject to the approval of the Governor. The membership shall be ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse, and shall include persons with relevant expertise and/or broad-based experience.

III. Responsibilities of the Council

A. The Council shall have the following responsibilities:

B. The specific responsibilities of the work groups are:

C. In carrying out its responsibilities, the Council shall review previous studies and the efforts of other groups and organizations, including the Juvenile Issues Task Force and the Governor's Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. In addition, the Council shall coordinate with the Special Legislative Task Force on the Juvenile Justice Act.

D. Prior to adopting its final recommendations, the Council shall present its preliminary recommendations to the Special Legislative Task Force on the Juvenile Justice Act and to the public for comment.

E. The Council shall submit a report containing final recommendations for legislation to the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Legislature by December 1, 1994. The recommendations shall reflect consideration of their fiscal impact.

F. The Council shall complete its responsibilities prior to the end of the 1995 legislative session and shall expire following the last day of that session.

G. The Office of Financial Management, in collaboration with the Attorney General's Office and other state agencies participating in the work of the Council, shall develop a plan for the provision of such resources as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the Council. Members of the Council may receive per them and travel expenses in accordance with OFM policies.

This Executive Order is effective immediately.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto
set my hand and caused the seal of the State
of Washington to be affixed at Olympia
this 21st day of June A.D., Nineteen hundred and ninety-four.




Governor of Washington

Secretary of State