TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas senators have voted to overhaul the juvenile justice system by offering community-based programs instead of jail for low-risk juvenile offenders.
The measure will close group homes for juvenile offenders in July 2018. Youth who violate probation will be referred to community-based programs that allow them to stay in homes with their families. The Senate voted 38-2 in favor of the bill Tuesday, sending it to the House for further consideration.
Republican Sen. Greg Smith, of Overland Park, says the $75.6 million in savings over five years will be redirected to community-based programs such as anger management and family therapy.
Critics of the bill say they worry there won’t be enough state funding to maintain the community-based alternatives to incarceration.
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