Kansas legislation being signed

The Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) at Community Resources for Justice and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) are proud to announce that Kansas will become the sixth state to be part of Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform.

Kansas joins five states – Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota and West Virginia – that have passed comprehensive juvenile justice reform and received assistance from OJJDP and its grantee CJI to support the implementation of their reforms.

Kansas’s reform effort began in June 2015 with an 11-month examination of the state’s juvenile justice system. State leadership requested that the Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project and CJI provide technical assistance to the Kansas Juvenile Justice Workgroup, which was chaired by Senator Greg Smith and Representative John Rubin, and included 15 other state stakeholders representing all parts of the juvenile justice system.

The Workgroup studied the state’s juvenile justice system and related data, and reviewed national research and evidence-based practices as it sought Kansas-specific solutions to the issues confronting the state. The Workgroup submitted a final report and its recommendations to the Governor, legislative leadership, and the Chief Justice in November 2015. The recommendations were drafted into a comprehensive juvenile justice reform bill, known as SB 367, and after two months of legislative hearings the bill passed the House 118-5 and the Senate 40-0.

OJJDP and CJI will now begin providing training and technical assistance to Kansas in the implementation of SB 367, the comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation adopted in April 2016. The training and technical assistance will be based on the state’s priorities and needs.