Findings and methodology are reported for an assessment of the available community-based services for youth referred to the juvenile justice system in Kentucky.
This assessment is related to the implementation of Kentucky legislation (SB 200) passed in April 2014. SB 200 includes statutes that mandate a data-sharing agreement between juvenile justice agencies, revised procedures for screening and assessing youth risk/needs, procedures for including more youth in the pre-court diversion program, and for reducing youth commitments and length of commitments to the Department of Juvenile justice (DJJ). The assessment procedure involved the collection of resource guides that contained information about programs that offer a variety of services targeted to different populations, such as infants, youth, adults, and seniors. The evaluation focused on community-based services limited to those in which youth were referred for treatment, both in the community and in non-secure residential settings. The assessment collected and analyzed administrative data from the Court Designated Workers Case Management System (CDWCMS), a statewide electronic case-management and information system maintained by the Department of Family and Juvenile Services of the Administrative Office of the Courts. A geographic analysis plan was developed to facilitate understanding of the accessibility of community-based services for youth involved with the juvenile justice system, using geographic information systems (GIS). The findings in this assessment report pertain to the characteristics of youth referrals in fiscal years 2017-2018, the type of community-based services available to justice-involved youth, the extent to which justice-involved youth have access to community-based services, whether access to services varies by youth race/ethnicity, and whether access to services varies by youth level of needs. Recommendations pertain to data collection on services and programs, as well as improving the availability and access to community-based services for justice-involved youth. 12 figures and 12 tables