The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Juvenile Justice Reform: Examining the Effects of 2016 Senate Bill 367
Chapters
The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Juvenile Justice Reform: Examining the Effects of 2016 Senate Bill 367
Jan 29, 2020
Legislative Post Audit

Senate Bill 367 reforms reduced out-of-home placements and increased community program funding for juvenile offenders in Kansas. Senate Bill 367 aimed to reduce the number of juvenile offenders put in out-of home settings like prisons, jails, and group homes. Out-of-home placements declined by 40% to 60% each year since the reforms were made. The reforms also aimed to create new community programs aimed to reduce recidivism. The Kansas Department of Corrections has spent about $9 million to create or expand community programs for juvenile offenders. Programs were generally available across the state, but more programs may still be needed. Department of Corrections did not have a process to ensure judicial districts used grant funds on appropriate programs. Stakeholders told us several Senate Bill 367 reforms had a negative impact on the juvenile justice system. These include the new probation, detention, and case time limits, as well as the graduated responses to probation violations. Stakeholders were more positive about the new youth assessment tool, but were split as to the effectiveness of other reforms. Kansas created a process to determine if Senate Bill 367 reforms were successful, but the process has not been used. In fact, only 2 of the 11 monitoring requirements we reviewed had been implemented.