TOPEKA (AP) – Governor Sam Brownback says he wants to merge the state’s troubled juvenile justice agency with the Department of Corrections.
Brownback said Monday he’ll issue an executive order for the merger after the legislative session begins in January. Unless lawmakers reject it within 60 days, the order will take effect July 1st.
Brownback says taking a social-services approach to juvenile justice has failed Kansas for decades.
He fired the top two officials of the Juvenile Justice Authority in March. Two legislative audits issued since July criticized the agency, suggesting it doesn’t do enough to keep offenders and staff safe.
Brownback praised acting Juvenile Justice Commissioner Terri Williams for making improvements but said the audits demonstrate the need for change.