The Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System is working to address racial disparity in Washington's criminal justice system.
Task Force 2.0 picks up where the previous task force left off, working to address racial disparity in Washington's criminal justice system. Convened by the deans of Washington's three law schools, Task Force 2.0 seeks to answer the current moment, precipitated by the killing of George Floyd, which called national attention to the devaluation of Black lives by police but which also called broader attention to systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system. The current moment led the Washington Supreme Court to issue its call on June 4, 2020, in which it acknowledged that the "devaluation and degradation of black lives is not a recent event" and is instead a peristent feature of our justice system and callling "on every member of our legal community to reflect on this moment and ask ourselves how we may work together to eradicate racism." Organizations and individuals have come together in this volunteer effort. History will judge whether we have answered this moment.
The first meeting of Task Force 2.0 took place on Sept. 11, 2020. During the meeting, we heard welcome remarks by the deans of Washington's three law schools as well as from Justice Steven González who led Task Force 1.0 ten years ago. We also heard from those in the Oversight Working Group that is functioning as the executive committee for the task force. We also heard from nearly 40 organizations who have formally joined this effort. The organizations and individuals reflect the rich diversity in this state, with regard to race, geography, and institutional roles within the criminal justice system.
The second meeting took place on Oct. 9, 2020. During the meeting, we heard welcome remarks from Justice Mary Yu who led Task Force 1.0's Juvenile Justice Subcommittee that produced the 2012 Report on Juvenile Justice and Race Disproportionality. We then heard from Judge Theresa Doyle about pending state legislature that will impact juvenile justice and from Judge Averil Rothrock about certain King County juvenile justice efforts. The executive committees of the Community Engagement and Recommendations/Implementation Working Groups have now been constituted. In addition, new teams are being formed, one to look at policing, the other to look at alternatives to policing.
The third meeting took place on Nov. 13, 2020. During the meeting, we heard reports from several of the working groups as well as from the newly constituted Policing Team and Alternatives to Policing Team. We also heard about the Spokane-specific work led by Gonzaga's Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Please return to this page to learn about our efforts.
If you are interested in joining the task force, as an individual or as an organization, or would like to attend our meetings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our general meetings are on the 2nd Friday of each month.
Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality
901 12th Avenue
Sullivan Hall 313
Seattle, WA 98122-1090