Friday, February 09, 2001

New hire to focus on juvenile justice

The Associated Press

        FRANKFORT — The state hired a veteran children's advocate Thursday to spearhead efforts to solve a nagging problem in juvenile justice — the disproportionate number of minority youths in confinement.

        Ellen Kelley said she wanted discussions across Kentucky involving teachers, parents, police, judges and child welfare workers.

        Ms. Kelley said the large number of minority youths in juvenile detention centers, youth correctional facilities and jails has fos tered perceptions that juvenile justice doesn't treat everyone fairly.

        A review of Kentucky's juvenile justice system found that 41 percent of the youths placed in detention facilities in 1999 were minorities, four times greater than their percentage of Kentucky's population.


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