Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration has begun implementing Executive Reorganization Order #42 (ERO), moving the Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) within the Department of Corrections (KDOC).
“It is important that we strengthen our public safety system while continuing to provide programs to youth offenders to get them back on the right path,” Governor Brownback said. “Combining JJA and KDOC will realize efficiencies through administrative consolidation, and will continue to provide for the unique needs of both populations.”
Brownback submitted the ERO to the Kansas Legislature in mid-January. Lawmakers then had 60 days to reject the merger. The 60 day deadline passed March 18th. The ERO will allow KDOC to establish a Deputy Secretary of Juvenile Services. Acting JJA Commissioner Terri Williams will serve in that role.
There are approximately 1,500 juveniles currently under JJA custody. About 325 juvenile offenders are in one of the two JJA facilities, the Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility or the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. State law allows youth from ages 10 to 23 to be in JJA custody.
The merger will go into effect on July 1, 2013.