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Kansas Senators Vote to Overhaul Juvenile Justice System

KSCB News - February 23, 2016 4:15 pm

Kansas senators have voted to overhaul the juvenile justice system by offering community-based programs instead of jail for low-risk juvenile offenders.

The measure will close group homes for juvenile offenders in July 2018. Youth who violate probation will be referred to community-based programs that allow them to stay in homes with their families. The Senate voted 38-2 in favor of the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House for further consideration.

Republican Sen. Greg Smith, of Overland Park, says the $75.6 million in savings over five years will be redirected to community-based programs such as anger management and family therapy.

Critics of the bill say they worry there won’t be enough state funding to maintain the community-based alternatives to incarceration.


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