Today's Interview: Kentucky Youth Advocates praises General Assembly’s juvenile justice legislation
Attacks on guards and other problems at Kentucky’s juvenile detention centers over the last year have caught the attention of lawmakers. There have been several efforts by the governor and members of the legislature to protect the workers and young people held at these facilities. Terry Brooks is the executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. He said the General Assembly has passed bills to improve the juvenile justice system.
“We're not suddenly going to fix the juvenile justice system in general or the detention component of it overnight. But it's such a positive step forward. Again, I cannot underscore enough that the philosophical lens shifted dramatically.”
Brooks praised Beshear and the GOP-led General Assembly for not playing politics with juvenile justice during this year’s legislative session – and said he hopes the reforms made thus far are just a start.
“I hope the General Assembly begins to look at policies that can be enacted in 2024. For instance, we're convinced that we need to move toward a minimum age of accountability right now you can be a five year-old and locked up in Kentucky. That does not make sense.”
Brooks said a reformed and improved juvenile justice system will improve public safety in every community across the state.
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