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As a 15-year member of Changes Parent Support Network, a support group for parents of acting-out teens and young adults, I support the construction of the new Juvenile Justice Facility in King County [“When is it OK to lock up kids for noncriminal offenses?” Opinion, Dec. 22].

Replacing the current outdated and dangerous building is just one step in supporting and improving our juvenile justice system. The staff members at the juvenile court work very hard on behalf of youths and their families.

Young people with drug abuse or mental-health issues often resist help, sometimes making them a danger to themselves and the community. They can often display intimidating or even violent behavior in their households.

The at-risk youth and truancy petitions can have detention as a consequence, but only after giving the youth many chances to abide by the court’s orders. The court uses lesser consequences including community service and writing papers before resorting to detention (to a maximum of seven days) after the youth has repeatedly defied the court.

The juvenile justice facility plays a crucial role in assisting youths to grow into responsible adults before the stakes of disobeying the courts become much higher.

Adequate funding for programs, staff and facilities help all youths become competent citizens.

Sandy Barnes, Lake Forest Park