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Kentucky's Senate Bill 200: Comprehensive Reform Implementation Successes

NCJ Number
Date Published
1 page
This report summarizes the provisions of Kentucky's juvenile justice reform legislation (Bill 200), features of the technical assistance for implementing it, and the outcomes of the implementation.
The objectives of Bill 200 are to increase the diversion of justice-involved youth, limit their out-of-home placement, and reinvest the resulting cost savings in community services and a fiscal incentive program. Diversion of youth is achieved by codifying mandatory diversion for lower level offenses and establishing Family Accountability, Intervention and Response (FAIR) teams to promote and implement diversion programs. Out-of-home placements are to be reduced by prohibiting it for minor offenses and limiting the length of time in such placements. The use of graduated responses, risk assessment, and effective case planning are required. Technical assistance for the implementation of Bill 200 includes assistance in drafting juvenile court rules to limit diversion-eligible cases from going to court and personnel training in the principles of effective intervention and graduated responses in diversion. Training was also provided in scoring risk assessments properly and in the implementation and monitoring of evidence-based programs. Outcomes from the implementation of the legislation were a 38-percent decline in court referrals and a 31-percent increase in diversions. A significant decline occurred in out-of-home placements. In fiscal year 2017, there were three correctional facility closures and an increase in the involvement of youth in evidence-based community programs. New contracts were issued for intensive in-home services for high-risk youth in Kentucky's two largest counties.