Programs focused on diverting youth from the juvenile justice system
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 12, 2022) – The Beshear-Coleman administration takes another step forward in creating safer communities by working to prevent youth crime across the commonwealth. Today, Gov. Andy Beshear and the Department of Juvenile Justice awards $354,666 in grant funding to public agencies and nonprofit programs through the Title II Formula Grants Program, administered by the United States Department of Justice.
“My administration has been committed to making Kentucky a better and safer place for children to grow up since day one," said Gov. Beshear. “Let's work together to reduce the chances of our youth entering or returning to the juvenile justice system by providing a better and safer place for our children to grow up."
This grant is made available by the federal government to assist state and local governments in reducing juvenile crime by preventing justice system involvement or intervening with first-time and non-serious offenders to divert contact with the juvenile justice system.
“For years, the Title II grant program has been invaluable to the work we do here at DJJ," Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner Vicki Reed said. “Our number one priority is preventing youth crime and youth recidivism, and this funding allows us to have partners without which we could not complete this work as effectively."
Recipients of this year's grant funding are focused on making communities safer for all Kentuckians by through programs focused on alternatives to detention, substance and alcohol abuse treatment, delinquency prevention and education.
“The grant awards announced today are an important step forward in reducing the number of crimes committed by juveniles," said Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey. “These funds will be used to achieve better outcomes in our juvenile justice system, both for our young people and for the communities in which they live."
A full list of the of 2022-2023 Title II sub-award recipients, please visit the Department of Juvenile Justice's website. Leaders from awarded agencies said how receiving these funds will assist in reducing violence in the state.
Dennis Ritchie, Senior Director of Reentry and Young Adult Services for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Inc. thanked DJJ you for supporting their Young Adult Opportunity Campus, The SPOT, in Louisville. “In conjunction with our partner Kentuckianaworks, we look forward to continuing to transform youth and young adult lives one at a time."
“Ramey-Estep is excited to continue to build prevention and support services in Boyd County in collaboration with local schools and the Department of Juvenile Justice," said Ginny Anderson, CEO of Ramey-Estep. “We appreciate the Department of Juvenile Justice investment in children and families."
Youth Advocate Programs is very thankful for the partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice and look forward to serving more youth in McCracken County through the use of these funds," Carla Powell, Chief of Advancement & Development for the Youth Advocate Programs said.
Beshear-Coleman Administration Enhances Public Safety
The Beshear-Coleman administration's top priority is the safety of all those in the commonwealth. Through partnerships across the state government, including the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the public safety actions already taken by the Governor to fight the ongoing drug epidemic and create safer communities are bettering Kentucky now and for future generations.
The recently enacted bipartisan state budget signed by Gov. Andy Beshear allows the commonwealth to take additional steps forward to make Kentucky a leader in public safety by enhancing law enforcement training, creating safer communities and improving the safety of both law enforcement officers and Kentuckians. In July, the Governor announced additional steps to enhance public and officer safety, including funding for firearms training, Western Kentucky training facility, and an increased training stipend for officers.
Since taking office, Gov. Beshear has awarded almost $8 million in grant funding to assist state and local law enforcement agencies to purchase the tools and resources needed to not only protect our communities, but also ensure the safety of law enforcement as they work on the front lines each and every day. Recently, the administration announced nearly $2 million in grant funding to enhance public safety, curb the sale of illegal drugs and fight addiction.
In June, Gov. Beshear announced the Military to Law Enforcement Program (M-2-LE). M-2-LE allows local law enforcement agencies in Kentucky to hire active service members within all branches of the U.S. Military during their last 180 days of service. Upon being contracted by a law enforcement agency, the military member will continue to receive their pay and benefits from the U.S. Military while they undergo law enforcement training at DOCJT.
In April, the Governor signed into law two pieces of legislation recently passed by the General Assembly to make historic investments in law enforcement by providing funds to KSP to recruit, train and retain the essential workforce needed to continue to provide the highest level of security to all Kentuckians. House Bill 259 ensures that all troopers will receive a $15,000 raise. Additionally, KSP's starting pay for sworn officers will increase from $37,887 to $55,888 annually. By signing Senate Bill 209, Gov. Beshear established paid vacation, sick leave and holiday pay, as well as enhanced health insurance contribution payments for retired KSP troopers and CVE officers.
Also, as the Governor recommended in January 2022, $12.2 million was included in the state budget for KSP to purchase body cameras, which is the first time in the commonwealth's history that funding has been allocated for this much-needed expense.
Gov. Beshear has championed legislative action like Senate Bill 64 and House Bill 254, making it easier for law enforcement to conduct undercover stings and increase the chances of stopping a horrific crime against a child from being facilitated through the internet. These actions will also provide law enforcement officers with the authority to charge offenders with harsher crimes to keep them away from the public, preventing further interactions with Kentucky's most vulnerable population.