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In 2014, OJJDP launched the Smart on Juvenile Justice Initiative, which supports technical assistance to states that have initiated improvements to their juvenile justice systems that are developmentally appropriate and evidence-based, aimed to improve youth outcomes, eliminate disparities, and maximize cost savings while holding youth accountable. Kentucky is one of seven states receiving technical assistance related to its implementation of juvenile justice improvements. In April 2014, Kentucky passed Senate Bill 200 (SB 200) that included a series of policy changes that provide more targeted and effective treatment to youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Westat, Inc. is evaluating the implementation and impact of these changes on justice system and youth outcomes in the state.
This project is funded under the Assessing the Impact of Juvenile Justice Reforms Program, which supported research and evaluations to investigate whether certain juvenile justice policies and practices produce better outcomes for youth, improve public safety, and/or achieve a greater return on taxpayer investments.