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Implementing Comprehensive Juvenile Justice Improvement in Kentucky

NCJ Number
Date Published
The Crime and Justice Institute (CJI)
This report reviews the juvenile justice reforms and outcomes in Kentucky resulting from the crafting of a legislative package intended to reduce out-of-home placements of juveniles while protecting public safety, holding youth accountable, and improving outcomes for justice-involved youth.
In 2013, Kentucky partnered with the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) for the purpose of reducing the population of juveniles housed in juvenile detention centers and other out-of-home placements. This technical assistance effort led to the passage of Senate Bill 200 (SB 200). This legislation was passed in 2014, and later the same year, the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) selected Kentucky as one of the first states to participate in its Comprehensive Juvenile Justice System Improvement Initiative. As part of this initiative, Kentucky received training and technical assistance from CJI to support implementation of the improvements. One goal of SB 200 was to limit the number of youth placed in juvenile detention centers or other supervisory programs that remove them from their homes. The bill was projected to reduce the Department of Juvenile Justice’s out-of-home population by more than one-third by 2019. The state has already surpassed this projection, having achieved a 40-percent reduction in the out-of-home juvenile population since 2014. This has been achieved by reducing out-of-home placements for youth processed for misdemeanors and probation violations. An increasing proportion of these youth have been diverted from formal case processing, and diversion success rates remain high. CJI continues to support Kentucky’s implementation efforts while expanding the capacity of state agencies. 2 figures
Date Created: November 8, 2017