Snapshot: Juvenile Justice in Kansas

This quick snapshot shows why Kansas is embracing alternatives to incarceration for youth.

Read the report.

Kansas Juvenile Justice Reform Handbook

A quick resource guide with the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How — and What’s Next — for juvenile justice reform in Kansas.

Read the handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions about Senate Bill 367 (2016)

Why do we need juvenile justice reforms in Kansas? What does Senate Bill 367, as amended by the Senate, do? When do the reforms in bill go into effect? Who supports these reforms?

 

Read the FAQ.

FAQ

Kansans United State Poll: February 2016

On the heels of recent bipartisan efforts to reform the youth justice system, the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing parole hearings for youth offenders, and the Department of Justice decision to ban solitary confinement of youth, a new poll shows adults in Kansas overwhelmingly support shifting the youth justice system from incarceration and punishment to prevention and rehabilitation. A clear 82% majority favors this shift with broad support across partisanship (81% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 79% of Republicans).

 

Download the poll results.

Download Investing in Kansas Families – Juvenile Justice Reform

The approach outlined in this issue brief will ensure taxpayer dollars are stewarded in a sensible fashion – now and in the future. Kansas should take the dollars it currently spends and pivot those funds into smart, effective investments that benefit our families and all of Kansas now and in the future.

Download Investing in Kansas Families – Juvenile Justice Reform

Download the Principles for Kansas Juvenile Justice Reform Report

Kansas is rethinking our approach to kids who get in trouble.

Our current juvenile justice system has become too reliant on incarceration and hasn’t done enough to support local programs that provide better outcomes for kids and our communities. If we shift our policies and our budgets away from incarcerating kids and towards local intensive rehabilitation programs, we will keep our communities safer, our kids healthier, and our funding stronger.

 

Download the Principles for Kansas Juvenile Justice Reform Report

Additional Resources

National research into what works (and what doesn’t) for juvenile justice reform

Kids are still developing mentally and emotionally, and we need juvenile justice systems that understand that. The U.S. Supreme Court agrees.

The bad news: Many of our juvenile justice systems (including here in Kansas) were built on fears of a myth about kids. And the system here in Kansas isn’t working.

The good news: The vast majority of kids, even youth who commit serious crimes, naturally outgrow adolescent misbehavior. So let’s not send kids to remote prisons anymore. And we shouldn’t push kids out of school for minor misbehavior. Because incarcerating kids can damage their lives for a long time. Incarcerating kids damages our budget, too.

The really good news? There are effective alternatives to incarceration for kids. Those alternatives work at a fraction of the cost of incarceration. Many states are already seeing the benefits of shifting away from prisons and towards alternatives for kids. It’s time to bring those effective reforms to Kansas.