Juvenile Justice Council


Juvenile Justice Council

In 2012, Clark County Juvenile Court, with unanimous support from the Superior Court Judges, joined the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). An Executive Committee was formed to guide the development and implementation of JDAI.

JDAI is a proven and cost-effective way for local jurisdictions and states to improve their juvenile justice systems and achieve the desired outcomes of:

  1. Increased public safety.
  2. Reduced detention overcrowding and the need to build and oper­ate expensive detention facilities.
  3. Better outcomes for youth and families by safely keeping youth in their homes, schools and com­munity.
  4. Reduction of racial disparities in the juvenile justice system.
  5. Redirecting scarce public fund­ing to less expensive and proven community-based programs.

Since 2012, under the leadership of the Executive Committee, Clark County has safely reduced the detention population by creating community based alternatives for low risk offenders. The alternatives hold youth meaningfully accountable while increasing youth and families connectivity with school and the community.

In 2018, Clark County renamed the JDAI Executive Committee the Juvenile Justice Council, recognizing the need for executive leadership support and guidance for a number of initiatives underway at the Juvenile Court.


  • Tony Golik, Prosecutor
  • Christine Simonsmeier, Juvenile Court Administrator
  • Michelle Belkot, County Councilor
  • Mike Fort, Battle Ground Chief of Police
  • John Horch, Clark Co. Sheriff
  • Amber Emery, Deputy County Manager
  • Camara Banfield, Superior Court Judge
  • Christine Hayes, Superior Court Commissioner
  • Kira Lewis Carter, Division of Children and Family Services Area Administrator
  • Jeffrey Mori, Vancouver Chief of Police
  • Mike Nerland, ESD 112 Assistant Superintendent
  • Dr. Jeff Snell, Vancouver Public Schools Superintendant
  • Denny Waters, Battle Ground Public Schools Superintendant
  • Janell Ephraim, Vancouver Public Schools Chief Equity Officer
  • Alaire DeSalvo, Janus Youth Program Manager
  • Dawn Young, Juvenile Court Community Programming and Court Processing
  • John Boyd, Evergreen Public Schools Superintendent
  • Shane Gardner, Evergreen Public Schools Director Safety and Security

Judge Collier and Pat Escamilla discuss JDAI with CVTV's Jim Demmon
[Video: https://youtu.be/Hn0itFziQ38]

Current Initiatives

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities (at arrest and referral)

Law Enforcement – School Collaborative

  • Collaborative Agreement:   We all desire our kids to grow into healthy, successful, productive, and contributing members of our community. Along the way, we know that they will make mistakes or poor choices. Being held accountable and repairing harm for poor conduct and delinquency is important, but incarcerating children should be the last option. Our goal is to provide kids the tools they need through education and social-emotional development that will encourage a sustainably prosperous outcome for all in an equitable manner. This approach does not ignore incidents of criminal conduct, but is responsive to evidence-based research that has proven to be more effective to reduce juvenile delinquency and increase public safety.

Research Support Paper