The state of Kansas is undertaking a statewide assessment on the extent to which minority youth are over-represented in the juvenile justice system. A series of public meetings will be held so that members of the public can hear the results of the study and to provide feedback to public officials involved in the juvenile justice system in Kansas.
The next public meeting is scheduled to take place from 2- 4 p.m. Jan. 9 in Garden City at the St. Catherine Hospital 401 E. Spruce Street. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
"So far, we've held meetings in Kansas City, and Emporia," Mitch Herian, a research analyst for objective advantage said in an interview Monday. "They were both very successful. We start out by presenting our findings for that area, and then open the meeting to discussion."
Attendants will have the chance to ask questions or offer input on why the findings are the way they are.
The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether minority youth are more likely to come into contact with the Kansas criminal justice system and whether minority youth receive disproportionately different outcomes in relation to white youth. As a key part of the assessment, the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority and the Kansas Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are sponsoring a series of public meetings at which members of the public are invited to listen to the results of the study. These public meetings, particularly feedback received from members of the public, will actually be included in the final report summarizing the results of the assessment.
Herian and his associates haven't looked at the data for Garden City and the surrounding communities yet, but they will before the meeting is held. Overall, Herian has said that there seems to be more minority youth involved with the Juvenile Justice System than whites for most crimes, but whites have a higher record of arrests for alcohol related charges.
"Once we've completed all the public meetings our ultimate goal is to compile a comprehensive report based on these findings," Herian said. "Then, it's up to the sate and the judicial system if they want to take action to try and reverse these trends."
For more information, contact Mitch Herian at (402) 651-6329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.