SB162, HB3 signed into law, affecting Department of Juvenile Justice

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Governor Andy Beshear signing a number of bills into law on Monday, that includes House Bill 3, which seeks to better protect public safety and ensure that serious juvenile offenders get access to meaningful programming both in and out of detention centers.

HB 3 has been on the watch list for quite some time. The piece of legislation is one lawmakers say its a step in the right direction for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Representative Kevin Bratcher a sponsor of the bill at the time said the most significant part of the bill is making sure kids are not sent to prison; adding that although the legislature is attempting to make changes, the real changes should happen to the leadership of the department.

Bratcher also says that it’s not fair when a child commits a violent crime and they are released, HB3 would make sure a juvenile goes into detention and stands before a judge.

We spoke with Bratcher on March 20th, about the importance of HB3, “every one of these attacks, there’s a child or a staff member, that’s probably going to have significant trauma, you know, who wants to go to work and get beat up. I mean, that’s happening, and the children in the system are not being protected properly.”

Alongside HB3, Senate Bill 162, was also signed into law.

Gov. Beshear signed Senate Bill 162, which appropriates more than $25 million to DJJ for staff salaries, facility security upgrade, transportation costs and enhanced programming.

The bill also recognizes the need to better serve those youth with severe mental health issues and divert them to more appropriate care.

The veto recess ends on March 28th, then the legislature will be back in session for two days, that’ll mark the end of the legislative session.

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