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About Crystal Willis

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So far Crystal Willis has created 8 blog entries.

Updates on KYGA23 Bills Impacting the Juvenile Justice System

Updated March 14, 2023 at 4:00 PM. The 2023 Kentucky General Assembly has an increased focus on the juvenile justice system in light of recent concerns about safety and workforce capacity within the Department of Juvenile Justice facilities, and broader ongoing concerns about community violence. Three bills have been filed in the House and Senate in an effort to begin addressing some of these issues. In the Senate, two bills that will strengthen oversight and [...]

By |2023-03-20T09:43:53-04:00March 7th, 2023|Blog, Race Equity, Youth Justice|

Over Incarceration of Youth is Not the Answer

Photo courtesy of The Sentencing Project While historically an area of common ground focused on community safety, accountability, and right-sizing responses for youth who get in trouble, the juvenile justice system has been experiencing an array of issues in the state of Kentucky recently. Despite overwhelming data to show youth offenses - including violent offenses - remain much lower than in years past and, in response to current safety issues in juvenile detention [...]

By |2023-01-25T15:03:14-05:00January 25th, 2023|Blog, Race Equity, Youth Justice|

A Look at the New Prison-to-Work Pipeline Initiative

Kentucky’s workforce has seen a decrease in workforce participation and many have collaborated on efforts seeking solutions to eliminate barriers that often prohibit people from finding a sustainable job. At a recent press conference, Governor Beshear announced efforts to boost workforce participation. Ashli Watts with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce spoke to how our workforce is currently at 58%, still below pre-pandemic levels. Currently, there are more than 160,000 open jobs throughout the commonwealth and [...]

By |2022-11-17T17:30:51-05:00November 17th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Child Welfare & Safety, Justice, Race Equity|

See Us, Support Us: October is Parental Incarceration Awareness Month

Did you know that in Kentucky more than 1 in 10 children have had a parent separated from them due to incarceration? This shared sentence is not only an Adverse Childhood Experience but research also shows that children of incarcerated parents are, on average, six times more likely to become incarcerated themselves. The traumatic experiences of young people who have a parent incarcerated are too often overlooked or misunderstood. Not only does having a parent [...]

By |2022-10-19T15:49:13-04:00October 11th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Justice, Race Equity|

Call to Action: Let’s Fund Justice!

What’s new at the federal level for justice related policies?  Recently Matt Cartwright, representative of Pennsylvania, presented a bill that would direct federal funding to areas of commerce, justice, science, and related agencies. In other words, this bill will help provide essential resources to advanced criminal justice. House Resolution 8256 has been read twice and referred to the Appropriations Committee but unfortunately, no further progress has been made. Sometime soon, we hope to see this [...]

By |2022-09-20T19:57:52-04:00September 20th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Justice, Race Equity, Youth Justice|

The Power Lies with the Community

As a few Kentucky Youth Advocates staff gathered for a convening in Chattanooga, TN, we were incredibly animated by the work those across the U.S. are doing and have been doing to make the justice system more just. Organizations from 19 states gathered to share ideas, stories, and work already being done to end mass incarceration.  Since 1983, Kentucky has seen a 287% increase in the amount of individuals locked up. We’ve been seeing incarceration [...]

By |2022-08-25T12:34:19-04:00August 25th, 2022|Blog, Justice, Race Equity, Youth Justice|

Ending the Mental Health-to-Incarceration Pipeline

Should children with mental health issues be incarcerated, or should they be given proper access to mental health treatment? In Kentucky specifically, 7 out of 10 youth involved with the juvenile justice system have a mental health condition. The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) recently released a new graphic (below) covering the mental health to incarceration pipeline so let’s take a look at how mental health and incarceration go hand in hand. Currently 1 in [...]

By |2022-07-06T16:34:54-04:00July 6th, 2022|Blog, Education, Race Equity, Youth Justice|

Young Kids Are Learning to Regulate Their Emotions — They Should Not Be in the Juvenile Justice System

Children as young as six-years-old have been arrested in the U.S., which remains one of the only countries without a nationally mandated standard for juvenile prosecution. As of May 2022, just under half of states in the U.S. still have no minimum age for prosecuting children.  Six-year-olds are still learning how to regulate their emotions. Throwing a tantrum should not lead to the arrest of a child but should instead be a segue to introducing [...]

By |2022-06-17T00:19:10-04:00June 13th, 2022|Blog, Race Equity, Youth Justice|
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