Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director, on House Judiciary Committee Passage of SB 200 (Juvenile Justice)

Contact:
Andrea Bennett
abennett@kyyouth.org
(502) 381-1176

Jeffersontown, KY – Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed SB 200, meaning the bill is just steps away from becoming a reality. SB 200 will ensure better outcomes for children and their families by reducing Kentucky’s use of incarceration and out-of-home placements when research shows kids can be more effectively served in the community. We commend Representative Tilley and Senator Westerfield for their leadership to make sure Kentucky spends limited resources to get the outcomes that are best for families and our communities.

This bill will enhance public safety by shifting Kentucky spending in juvenile justice to services in the community that are more effective. That shift also means better use of taxpayer dollars because services to address family needs are less expensive than incarceration and other placements out of home. On the important issue of how Kentucky handles youth who are missing school or running away, the bill makes important strides by creating a system to connect youth to services early in the process that can help families address the reasons for child behavior.

We thank Chairman Tilley and members of the House Judiciary Committee for passing the bill. We now ask House leadership to call SB 200 for a vote on the House floor quickly and for all House members to support the bill. The bill moves Kentucky in the right direction with a juvenile justice system that is better for kids and families, better for the state budget and better for public safety.