Youth Justice

Kentucky needs a system of justice that holds youth accountable for their actions while using effective, evidence-based interventions to help put those children on a path to becoming productive citizens of our Commonwealth. Children engaged with the juvenile justice system are 4 to 10 times more likely to enter the adult justice system. Using proven community-based programs that help keep children with their families and in their communities will not only improve public safety, but also save taxpayer dollars.

 

Priorities

  • End the practice of locking up children in detention centers for misbehaviors that do not pose a risk to public safety.
  • Promote the use of community-based alternatives to detention, like intensive therapeutic after-school programs or day treatment centers that address the underlying reasons for youth misbehavior.
  • Encourage practices that deliver balanced, reasonable, and age-appropriate responses to youth whose cases make it to court.
  • Divert children age 10 and under from court and into intensive services to prevent future misbehavior.
  • Ensure all children receive fair and equitable treatment regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender.

 

Initiatives

  • SB 200 Implementation – Supporting effective implementation of Kentucky’s recent juvenile justice reform bill (SB 200), which passed in 2014, alongside other youth justice partners.  Continue to track data and pursue additional reforms under discussion by the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council.
  • Subcommittee for Equity and Justice for All Youth (SEJAY) – Statewide group focusing on reducing the over-representation of youth of color within Kentucky’s juvenile justice system.

 

Blog Posts

  • Let’s Simplify the Maze of Youth Justice

    CornmazeThis post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Courier Journal on February 13, 2017. I am that rarest of species – a male who admits he is directionally challenged. In fact, my wife Judy believes we don’t even need a GPS. It’s … Continue Reading

  • Keep Kindergartners Out of Court

    Juvenile Justice-with circleA new issue brief released today by Kentucky Youth Advocates, Keep Kindergartners Out of Court: More Effective Responses to the Behavior of Young Children, highlights the importance of responding appropriately to young children who get in trouble to build safer … Continue Reading

  • Keeping Kindergartners Out of Court

    Juvenile Justice-with circleContact: Mara Powell 859-496-5524 mpowell@kyyouth.org JEFFERSONTOWN, KY – A new issue brief released today by Kentucky Youth Advocates, Keep Kindergartners Out of Court: More Effective Responses to the Behavior of Young Children, highlights the importance of responding appropriately to young children … Continue Reading

  • A Mother’s Christmas Wish: Peace of Mind and Joy in Reuniting

    xmas-giftAn efficient and effective youth justice system holds kids accountable, helps them grow up to become contributing members of their community, and increases public safety. Kentucky has made strides in improving its youth justice system in recent years with the … Continue Reading

  • Guest Post: Let’s Ensure School Safety for All Students

    clc-logoBy Amanda Bear Schools should be a safe, secure place for all children. A recent report released by Children’s Law Center, Inc. finds the use of restraint and seclusion on children in Kentucky schools is often unnecessary – especially for young … Continue Reading

More from our Blog

Publications

Resources

Find a behavioral health provider for a child in need in your county:

Children’s Alliance Directory of Services (not a comprehensive list for each county)

 

kidscount_dc200x90Find state and county level data on youth justice:

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center 

 

yjres200x90Learn more about SB 200:

Kentucky's juvenile justice reform bill