Bill tackles juvenile justice system

While youth incarceration rates have decreased, officials in the community have said young offenders weren’t receiving the proper treatment and had high recidivism rates.

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State News

January 24, 2023 - 5:37 PM

Rep. Stephen Owens, R-Hesston, right, confers with Rep. Tobias Schlingensiepen, D-Topeka, during a hearing Monday on juvenile justice reform. Owens said he is committed to fixing issues within the juvenile justice system. (Rachel Mipro/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Lawmakers have begun evaluating legislation in an effort to fix years of built-up problems within the juvenile justice system.

First up: A bill that could expand access to behavioral health treatment through crisis intervention centers.

During a House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee meeting Monday, a week after lawmakers heard from attorneys and foster care workers who urged for more juvenile crisis intervention centers and adequate resources, lawmakers said they were trying to quickly come up with solutions for young offenders who need more intensive help.

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