Jeffersontown, KY – The Senate’s passage of SB 200 is a major step forward for improving the juvenile justice system in the Commonwealth. We commend Senator Westerfield, as well as Representative Tilley, for addressing this issue that represents an important combination in Frankfort – better outcomes for children and families and budget savings.
This bill will enhance public safety by shifting Kentucky spending in juvenile justice on community-based programs that are more effective. That shift also means better use of taxpayer dollars, because proven community-based programs 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 their behavior.
We thank Senate leadership and the full Senate for taking this important step for kids and families by passing SB 200. 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. We now ask the House to take swift action to pass SB 200 in the House chamber. Kids’ futures depend on it.