Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
An efficient and effective youth justice system holds kids accountable, helps them grow up to become contributing members of their community, and increases public safety. While Kentucky has made strides in improving the youth justice system, critical opportunities still persist. And the Kentucky Senate took an important step today to continue progress.
We applaud Senator Whitney Westerfield for championing Senate Bill 87 to eliminate the mandatory transfer of youth to adult court for certain offenses. We also commend Senate leadership for making the bill even stronger for kids by allowing courts to consider a young person’s intellectual disability in addition to other factors. When judges have the discretion to decide how to handle certain cases rather than mandating a transfer, courts can respond more effectively to cases and children can have better access to rehabilitative supports and services within the youth justice system.
We now look to the Kentucky House for their support of this important measure that stands up for kids and public safety.
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.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.