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LISTEN: Why Do Black Youth Fare Worse In Kentucky's Justice System?

Juvenile Detention Center
The Juvenile Detention Center is located on West Jefferson Street in downtown Louisville.

In 2012, black youth accounted for about 60 percent of the arrests in Louisville. By last year, it grew to 66 percent. About 72 percent of the youth arrested for felonies last year were black.

Statewide reforms put fewer minor offenders behind bars than five years ago, and the Louisville Metro Police Department has cut its juvenile arrests by nearly half since 2012. But the smaller numbers of detained youth have only made the racial disparity more apparent.

The city has task forces and juvenile justice councils and a handful of nonprofits working with court-involved kids. But the trend persists, and worsens.

On Thursday, we sat down with researchers, policymakers and youth advocates to talk about the problem. Listen in the audio player above, or watch the Facebook video below.

WFPL's Rick Howlett and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting's Kate Howard hosted the special.

Our guests were:

Cherie Dawson-Edwards, criminal justice professor at University of Louisville
Keturah Herron, Youth Build Louisville
James Bell, the Haywood Burns Institute
Libby Mills, Restorative Justice Louisville