Senator Givens reacts to revealing performance report of the Department of Juvenile Justice

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — A new report on the Department of Juvenile Justice, found major issues that some say they’ve been working to fix.

In the 200 page performance review of DJJ, it details how there is a lack of leadership from the current administration.  The staff, using extreme disciplinary actions on youth, without clear guiding policies.

“It’s just unfathomable to me that the staff and the young people of our commonwealth are being put in these conditions,” says Senate President Pro Tempore, David Givens.

Senator Givens has been outspoken about taking action now. He says it’s been 14 months since he alongside other members of the legislature met with the governor where they discussed what was needed.

“The governor indicated in need $130 million, we gave him $140 million, 14 months have passed. And this audit indicates that even the simplest things, like securing these facilities, with local memorandums of understanding with backup police forces, those memorandums of understanding with local police forces haven’t even been signed,” added Givens.

Also adding, “I can’t even start to imagine the fear and the angst and the anxiety that I would have. If one of my children were in these facilities.”

Right now, the department is looking for its next commissioner.
Vicki Reed was the commissioner, since being appointed by Governor Andy Beshear  back in 2021.
But Reed stepping down after much controversy last year, that included riots and disturbances at different facilities.

“Until we have someone who wakes up every morning, worrying about it, and goes to sleep every night thinking about the safety of the staff, and the safety of these young people in these facilities, and then appears in front of us and the Senate committees and says I’m the one responsible until we have that leader, this system is not going to be fixed,” also added Givens.

To look at the complete report click here.

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