Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky continues to be smart when it comes to the intersection of justice and families.
When you think about the justice system in the Commonwealth, you have to think about the shared sentence of our children whose parents are incarcerated. After all, three of five inmates in Kentucky have children, including 71% of women in prison. Kentucky also has the second highest rate in the nation of children who’ve had a parent separated from them due to incarceration—a stressful and traumatic experience that impacts their mental health and educational achievement.
SB 133, passed today by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, is a step in the right direction to ensure public safety and appropriately holds people accountable. It also wisely seeks to improve outcomes of pregnant inmates and minimize the impact of parental incarceration on children across the Commonwealth.
We applaud the Senate Health and Welfare Committee for passing this important measure to improve conditions of pregnant inmates and focus incarceration on serious offenses. We thank SB 133 co-sponsors, Senator Julie Raque Adams and Senator Whitney Westerfield, for their commitment to making strides in reforming Kentucky’s criminal justice system with the best outcomes of kids and families in mind. Thousands of Kentucky kids will win when this measure becomes a reality.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.