As stated in County Judge Hyde’s State of the County Address, Pulaski County is reviewing the Juvenile Justice System from top to bottom. In April 2017, the County signed a contract with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) to conduct a juvenile justice system assessment.
“We are proud to have taken the initiative to use an unbiased third-party to provide an honest assessment—and ahead of schedule,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “While the study does point out problem areas; it lays the foundation for future improvements. We hope this study will assist us in partnering with DHS-Division of Youth Services, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative program (JDAI) and Annie E. Casey Foundation.”
Using the JDAI framework for review, CCLP was able to provide suggestions for areas for improvement that include:
- Collaboration among stakeholders,
- Data collection and analysis,
- Use of objective admissions criteria and risk assessment instruments,
- Alternatives to detention and incarceration programs,
- Case processing,
- Reducing the number of youth detained for technical probation violations and failing to appear in court, and the number held in detention awaiting transfer to a residential facility,
- Combating racial and ethnic disparities; and
- Conditions of confinement in facilities that house youth.
“The areas identified are not unique to Pulaski County. These issues are seen throughout the country,” said Hyde. “This study gives us an exciting opportunity to make significant changes in our juvenile justice system. We now understand the issues and can make efficient use of resources for the betterment of at-risk youth in Pulaski County.”