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  Juvenile Justice Center to be Renamed After Retiring Superior Court Judge Robert L. Harris
Harris Acceptance
Judge Harris Thanking Commissioner Marc Boldt


Harris Plaque
Commemorative Plaque

After 30 years of putting his signature on Clark County Superior Court documents, Judge Robert L. Harris’ name will be added to the building where much of his career was focused: the Juvenile Justice Center.

The building at 500 W. 11th St. will be renamed the Robert L. Harris Juvenile Justice Center, said Marc Boldt, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, during Judge Harris’ retirement ceremony Friday.

 

The Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution honoring Judge Harris because:

Harris Speaking
Judge Harris Accepting the New Resolution
  • He served as a Superior Court judge for 30 years.
  • His distinguished career has brought national and statewide recognition and esteem to the county
  • He has long been a champion of enhancing the restorative possibilities of the juvenile justice system
  • He has made outstanding contributions to the criminal justice system in Clark County and Washington
Harris Announcment 1
Announcement with Support of Present and Past JJC Administrators

“We extend to Judge Harris deep appreciation for all that you have done to enhance the well-being of Clark County citizens,” Boldt said.

Juvenile Court is a division of Superior Court, where Judge Harris was presiding judge from 1997 to 2007.


 

 

 

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11-30-09

Gary Ripley Retires from CCJJC

Gary Ripley

 

   Gary Ripley has been one of the mainstays of the Clark County Juvenile Justice Center for many years. By the time he retires on November 30th, he will have been here for 39 years and 11 months.

   Gary attended Hudson Bay High School, Clark College, and then transferred to Western Washington University in Bellingham. He graduated with a double major in Psychology and Sociology. 

   He didn’t have a clear idea where he wanted to work after graduation. His dad, an officer in the Vancouver Police Department, knew the juvenile court administrator. He encouraged Gary to give him a call, which he did, and was promptly offered a position in detention. Gary still had to pass his finals to graduate, so he was able to postpone starting work until January 1, 1970. This was his first job straight out of college, and he’s stayed here for the duration. That’s almost unheard of in this age of lay-offs and downsizing.

Retirement CeremonyGary worked in detention for 6 months. They used to have to ask the community for donated clothes for the kids in detention because they didn’t have uniforms. Standard dress was jeans and T-shirts or sweatshirts. Gary is an avid hunter. He talked about how he use to get calls from the Washington State Patrol or the Fish and Game Department when there was a deer that had been killed by a car or a poacher, and he’d go out and dress the deer and take it to a butcher to supplement the food that was served in detention. Things were a lot different in those days!

Gary became a probation officer in 1970.  Prior to July 1978, juvenile court didn’t have a prosecutor. The POs filed the charges, served the papers, and wrote the court reports (such as the Predisposition Report) and supervised the youth on probation.  If a case went to trial, the PO had to try the case themselves.  Gary tried 3 cases – one he lost and two he won.  He is the only remaining staff person who has tried a case. 

   As a result of his early experience, Gary has a thorough knowledge of the law and has become the Go to man when someone has a question about legal procedures.Gary & Pat Escamilla

   In those days, POs not only supervised criminal cases. They also worked with “incorrigible” cases. That term refers to status offenses, such as running away, beyond parental control and truancy.

   After 9 years as a PO, Gary was promoted to a management position in charge of Intake and Detention. He still manages Intake and Records. He has also managed probation and most recently agreed to manage Connections, on top of his already hefty responsibilities. It was brave of him to take on the task of supervising a bunch of people who were trained to “think outside the box.”

   Gary’s favorite part of the job was working with the kids and families.  As a manager, he misses that close contact with the youth.

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Clark County Juvenile Court Administrator: Pat Escamilla
Street Address: 500 West 11th Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-2201 | FAX: (360) 397-6109
Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388, then call (360) 397-2445
E-mail: Pat.escamilla@clark.wa.gov

Responsible Elected Official: Presiding Judge Barbara D. Johnson

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