OLATHE, Kan. (AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill overhauling the Kansas juvenile justice system during a ceremony outside the courthouse of the state’s most populous county.
Representatives from a national advocacy group, legislators and Kansas Department of Corrections officials joined the signing event Monday outside the Johnson County Courthouse in Olathe.
The new system will keep more low-risk juvenile offenders in their homes as they can participate in community-based programs that focus on anger management and other behavioral changes. The system overhaul will divert money from the construction and maintenance of jails to alternatives to detention.
The measure was in part a reaction to 2013 U.S. Department of Justice data showing that the state had the sixth-highest incarceration rate for young offenders in the nation.