Kentucky to begin placing juveniles in detention centers based on the severity of charges, not location
Kentucky is making further changes to its troubled juvenile justice system, which has struggled with outbreaks of violence and staffing issues, among others.
The biggest changes coming to the juvenile justice system center around the placement of juveniles, many of whom are being housed for more violent crimes than in the past.
The first change announced by Gov. Andy Beshear last week was the creation of the state’s first females-only facility. This week, the governor outlined a new plan that would require further shuffling of those in the system. Currently, juveniles are placed at facilities closest to them, but that system comes with drawbacks.
"Right now, under the regional model, it would mean that we are housing someone being charged with murder next to somebody who was truant."Gov. Andy Beshear
Beshear says the new plan would see more emphasis put on the kinds of crimes involved.
"Beginning soon, the Department of Juvenile Justice will operate a new classification system which will house male juveniles ages 14 and older by level of offense instead of just the closest facility," the governor explained. "We are working now to identify a number of higher security facilities that are going to house males who have been charged with more violent or more serious crimes."
Meanwhile, youth in for lower-level crimes will be housed in lower-security facilities. The aim being to create safer, more secure detention centers. Beshear said the administration will have more details in the coming weeks.