Kansas Governor Sam Brownback delivered Executive Reorganization Order #42 (ERO) to Kansas Legislature Friday. The reorganization moves the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) into the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC).
"Moving JJA to KDOC will increase the emphasis on safety while continuing to provide programs proven to get our youth back on the right path. It will also provide opportunities to strengthen public safety, build upon successes realized through a minimal administrative consolidation of functions two years ago, and provide for the unique needs of these two populations," Gov. Brownback wrote in his message to lawmakers.
The ERO will allow KDOC to establish a Deputy Secretary of Juvenile Services. Governor Brownback has said 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.
Kansas lawmakers have 60 calendar days to consider the ERO . If neither legislative chamber rejects the merger, it will go into effect on July 1, 2013.