Statement by Terry Brooks, executive director, on House Passage of SB 200 to Reform Juvenile Justice

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

Jeffersontown, KY – Today, the House passed SB 200 – a significant piece of legislation to move Kentucky forward on doing what works in juvenile justice and to use taxpayer dollars more wisely. SB 200 will achieve better outcomes for children and their families by only using incarceration and out-of-home placements when necessary. Research shows kids can often 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 the House of Representatives for acting swiftly on this important bill. We also thank Senator Westerfield and Representative Tilley for their diligent work to make Kentucky is using limited state resources to get the best outcomes for children, families, and public safety.