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What are the barriers and successes of Kentucky's juvenile justice reform efforts?

Evaluating Kentucky's juvenile justice reform measures

In 2014, Kentucky passed legislation to reduce formal youth involvement with the justice system and increase delivery of community-based services.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provided funding to evaluate the implementation of this reform effort and its impact on youth and the juvenile justice system.

Westat and our partner, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA), are conducting an implementation evaluation, using mixed methods, including geographic information system (GIS) analysis, to document barriers and successes to implementation.

A particular focus is also on diversion processes and accessibility of community-based services for justice-involved youth.

Using interrupted time-series analysis, we are also conducting an evaluation to assess impacts of the reform on youth and system outcomes.

The findings from this study will provide

  • A better understanding of the effectiveness of the reform effort in Kentucky
  • Recommendations for ongoing system improvements

It will also identify lessons learned that can inform related reform efforts in other states and jurisdictions.

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