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About Harper Kelly

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So far Harper Kelly has created 25 blog entries.

Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice Reforms: Shifting from Implementation to Integration and Collaboration

Kentucky’s juvenile justice reforms have reached their first year of full implementation and we are seeing positive results in making sure the state’s response matches what youth need to keep them from committing future offenses. Now with implementation well underway, the state agencies can work on ensuring implementation is meeting the standards of SB 200’s requirements for all youth in Kentucky. An analysis by the interim Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) presented [...]

By |2016-07-06T13:26:00-04:00July 6th, 2016|Blog, Youth Justice|

A Checklist for a Healthy and Safe Summer Break

There’s a piece of me that continues to be jealous of my teenagers’ summer break. We have embarked upon our third week of summer, and the idealistic images I had of what their summers days would include while I’m at work have already dissipated. My rough survey of a few teens in my children’s “circle” led me to these top three “activities” on their daily to-do list: They want to sleep – a LOT. Apparently [...]

By |2016-06-13T09:20:51-04:00June 13th, 2016|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Education, Health|

Using Data to Ensure Equitable Treatment of Youth of Color

Kentucky’s communities are safest when we invest in what works best for children.  Right now, the stories and the numbers show that there are disparities in how children of color are treated within the Commonwealth’s systems that care for them.  To begin the process of addressing these disparities, Senator Whitney Westerfield has filed Senate Bill 270. SB 270 ensures that all systems who care for our youth -- education, child welfare, and youth justice -- will [...]

By |2016-03-09T16:02:00-04:00March 9th, 2016|Blog, Youth Justice|

Clearing Adult Records Helps Parents Take Care of Their Children

House Bill 40, filed by Representative Darryl Owens, passed the House on January 15th and is awaiting a hearing in a Senate committee.  This bill would expand record expungement to include the lowest class of non-violent felonies for those who have served their court-ordered requirements and moved forward on the right path without further offenses or violations.  A person who makes a bad decision that results in a criminal record, particularly a felony record, can [...]

By |2016-01-21T14:08:52-04:00January 21st, 2016|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Attorney General Candidates Agree: Kids Are a Priority

As the state’s chief prosecutor, chief law enforcement officer and chief law officer, the Attorney General supervises Kentucky’s prosecutors and advises government officials and agencies by writing opinions concerning the law. These responsibilities are crucial in ensuring that state systems work for all of Kentucky kids. In an Attorney General Candidate Conversation About Kids on Monday, both candidates—Andy Beshear and Senator Whitney Westerfield—made it clear to the more than 150 attendees that protecting kids will [...]

By |2015-10-28T10:38:39-04:00October 28th, 2015|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Youth Justice|

Lessons in Learning: Three School-Based Reflections for Caregivers of Children with Disabilities

Looking back across my son’s 13 years of elementary, middle, and high school education, I would do some things differently. When he was in 3rd grade, my son was identified with a disability, and while he thrived in so many ways, I would have made different choices along the way if I had known then what I know now. Being a teacher as well as a mom of a child with a disability certainly had [...]

By |2015-09-24T11:03:53-04:00September 24th, 2015|Blog, Education|

Educators Equipped to Recognize and Prevent Child Abuse

Kentucky’s children will have newly trained allies in the effort to erase child abuse thanks to the Kentucky General Assembly: their teachers. In March 2015, our legislature passed Senate Bill 119 which ensures that educators receive information on the prevention and recognition of all forms of abuse and neglect. Previously, educators were notified that they were required to report child abuse, but many were not given specialized information on how to recognize the subtle early [...]

By |2015-09-10T12:17:18-04:00September 10th, 2015|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Education|

Rethinking Discipline for Students with Disabilities

As a former educator, I know that one of the most complicated, and I’d venture to say one of the most critical aspects of teaching children is the management of the various behaviors in the classroom. And as a mom, I know how frustrated I get when I try to provide various types of discipline to my three very different kids. Not one of the three respond to a certain method in the same way. [...]

By |2015-09-03T12:09:13-04:00September 3rd, 2015|Blog, Education|

New Study Shows that Suspending Kids Can Have a Negative Effect on Non-Suspended Students

The findings of a new study that was conducted in Kentucky fly in the face of how some administrators, educators, and parents view the suspension of students. It is commonly thought that a disruptive student’s suspension will result in better learning for the “well behaved” students because it removes the student who is the source of distracting behaviors. Two researchers looked at the academic performance of these “well behaved” students who had never been suspended [...]

By |2015-06-22T09:21:27-04:00June 22nd, 2015|Blog, Education, Youth Justice|

State Agencies and Communities Work Together to Reform Juvenile Justice

July 1, 2015 is a monumental date for Kentucky’s juvenile justice reform. It is when SB200, the juvenile justice reform bill which passed in 2014, goes into full effect.  An unprecedented amount of communication and collaboration has occurred within the past year between the many agencies involved in making this reform a reality. At the May 12th Juvenile Justice Oversight Council meeting, Ryan Thornell, a consultant working with Kentucky from the Crime and Justice Institute, [...]

By |2015-05-13T11:05:44-04:00May 13th, 2015|Blog, Youth Justice|