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Gov. Beshear Allocates Funds to Revitalize Kentucky Juvenile Justice System

21 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

The proposed $136.6 billion budget by Gov. Beshear outlines substantial investments to rehabilitate the Kentucky juvenile justice system.

Gov. Beshear Allocates Funds to Revitalize Kentucky Juvenile Justice System - Inmate Lookup

In the upcoming weeks, the Kentucky juvenile justice system (JJS) among others, will undergo scrutiny as Governor Beshear and his administration reveal their plans to allocate over $136 billion in a budget proposal released on December 18. The state budget covers a wide range of areas, with Beshear proposing an increase in funding for universal Pre-K, teacher salaries, salary raises for Kentucky State Police, and the rehabilitation of the Kentucky JJS.

The Kentucky JJS has been under fire for years for issues like understaffing, violent incidents, and even mistreating juvenile detainees.

Terry Brooks, the executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), characterized the state of Kentucky’s JJS as a “house on fire,” emphasizing KYA’s advocacy for improvements in all areas affecting the children of Kentucky, including education and the juvenile justice system.

Gov. Beshear’s proposal outlines plans to retrofit the Jefferson County Detention Center and renovate three existing Kentucky detention centers in Breathitt, McCracken, and Fayette counties. Additionally, the governor also aims to construct two female-only detention centers.

The Governor stated that the projects are necessary due to the inability to have low-level male offenders in the same areas as more violent offenders, as well as the need to separate males and females in custody.

Terry Brooks, who has over 20 years of experience advocating for children’s health and education, would view this as a positive development. Brooks said Governor Beshear’s mention of retrofitting some facilities should not be downplayed.

Beshear’s administration also seeks funding for juvenile diversion, with a request for $8 million to support alternative programs that prevent children from entering the detention center when appropriate.

Brooks highlighted the need for better alternatives when young individuals make non-violent, non-felony mistakes, stating that the state can do more than confine such children to detention centers.



Image source: Photo by Silver Works: