Legislature using local gang court as state model - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Legislature using local gang court as state model

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima County's Juvenile Gang Court is continuing to get attention from other local governments around the state and country.

On Thursday, House Bill 2535 sponsored by Representative Connie Ladenburg from Tacoma was passed in the House by an overwhelming 92 to 4 vote.

The bill encourages local governments to set up their own juvenile gang courts by providing them with an outline to get started.

Things like, constant supervision and standards to qualify for the program are touched on in the bill, many of them based off Yakima County's gang court.

Rep. Ladenburg says she visited Yakima before writing the bill, and sees the benefits this type of legislation could have on the state. 

"We've got to try to do what we possibly can with out young people. We have to catch them when they are young and try to send them down the correct path," said Rep. Ladenburg.

Yakima County still has the only juvenile gang court in the state.

Recently, officials from Houston, Texas visited to learn about the method so they too could start one of their own.

The bill will now go to the Senate for more discussion and a vote, but Rep. Ladenburg says she's confident it will pass and be signed into law.

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