juvenile

A new report says Kansas' juvenile justice system functions inadequately due to poor use of mental health and substance evaluations, dependency on long periods of incarceration, inappropriate assignments of youths to detention facilities and other issues.

Richard Ross

There are about 70,000 young people in juvenile detention centers or correctional faculties in the United States. Richard Ross spent the past seven years documenting the lives of American juveniles who have been housed in these facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist, and, occasionally, harm them. The culmination of this work is a project titled Juvenile in Justice at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University.

The preliminary results of a statewide assessment on the overrepresentation of minority youth in Kansas’ juvenile justice system will be presented at a community forum next week.

The forum is an event to solicit community input and present research findings from a study commissioned by the state of Kansas on disproportionate minority contact- or DMC.

DMC occurs when minority youth come into contact with the juvenile justice system at a higher rate than their white counterparts.

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A recent audit uncovered mismanagement and safety problems at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex in Topeka. 

The Legislative Division of Post Audit compiled the report on the facility, which houses around 250 juveniles.

Auditor Scott Frank says this report was unique, because cameras at the facility aided the investigation.

He says the cameras allowed them to confirm assaults or other issues, and it can sometimes be difficult to confirm claims made during an audit investigation.