Kansas Juvenile Justice reform making progress

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ks. — A new report says Kansas is seeing progress in the juvenile justice system.

The report says Kansas has been putting fewer juvenile offenders in detention centers and lessening probation time since making new changes to the system.

The oversight committee issuing the report is recommending doubling the state’s annual spending on juvenile justice programs to nearly 22 million dollars.

In 2016, state lawmakers overhauled juvenile justice over criticism that youth were removed from their homes and sent to residential facilities and correctional institutions too often.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says The Juvenile Justice Reform Act has its pros and cons.

“It’s had some positives and it’s had some negatives. There were some instances where juveniles were being introduced into the criminal justice system where that probably was not necessary. It was also creating an overflow in a lot of the facilities. So it’s helped in that regards,” said Groves.

Sheriff Groves says the down side is there have been instances where juveniles should have been placed in detention facilities but, those instances did not meet the requirement under The Juvenile Justice Reform Act.

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