From Kentucky Youth Advocates Press Release:
The 2013 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book,
released today by Kentucky Youth Advocates highlights the need for
smart investments to ensure kids in all counties have the best
opportunity to thrive in childhood and succeed as adults.
This is the 23nd annual release of the Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book, part of the Kentucky KIDS COUNT project. The KIDS COUNT project
monitors progress for Kentucky’s one million children on over 100
indicators of child well-being. This year’s book introduces a new
approach, ranking Kentucky counties on overall child well-being and on
four domains critical to that well-being: economic security, education,
health, and family and community strength. Each domain includes four
indicators of well-being, for a total of 16 indicators.
Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System
A notable indicator in the family and community domain is the number
of youth incarcerated in Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice system. In
2010-2012, Kentucky incarcerated 51.9 young people ages 10-17 for every
1,000 children that age. County incarceration rates varied widely, with
38 counties exceeding the state rate. The data show that most Kentucky
youth are incarcerated for offenses that do not threaten public safety
and could better be treated in the community than in a juvenile jail.
Incarcerated youth face a greater probability of poor education, less
employment, and poor mental health outcomes, and they are at increased
risk of being incarcerated again.
“The opportunity exists to make significant changes in the Juvenile
Justice System during the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly. The Unified
Juvenile Code Task Force led by Senator Whitney Westerfield and
Representative John Tilley is making progress, and we expect strong
recommendations to result from their work. Significant reforms could put
Kentucky youth on a better track for success, while also improving
public safety and using tax dollars efficiently on what works,” added