Bipartisan juvenile justice reform bill becomes law

 A bill reforming the Kansas Juvenile Justice system has passed the House and the Senate and was sent to the governor for his signature. Kansas currently has the sixth highest incarceration rate of juveniles in the nation. This legislation seeks to reduce the number of incarcerated juveniles in Kansas by moving way from the practice of incarceration for juvenile offenders and, instead, towards evidence-based practices that utilize more community based services.

Senate Bill 367 is the result of an extensive workgroup process that lasted several months and is the first major overhaul of the juvenile justice system in more than 20 years. It is hoped this will decrease juvenile recidivism, protect public safety, and reduce spending on practices that are ineffective and, therefore, reduce taxpayer spending of juvenile justice administration.

The measure passed the Kansas House of Representatives by a vote of 118 (ayes) to 5 (nays). I supported the reform legislation

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