A Kansas House committee has endorsed Governor Sam Brownback’s proposal to reorganize the state’s juvenile corrections system. Brownback signed an order last month to move the Juvenile Justice Authority inside the Department of Corrections. The JJA is currently an independent agency. Supporters of the reorganization point to legislative audits that showed repeated safety and security problems in a facility run by the JJA. Representative John Rubin, a Republican from Shawnee, says the move is needed to improve the agency.
Representative Tom Moxley, a Republican from Council Grove, wanted the committee to recommend blocking the governor’s order. Moxley points out that there have been problems in the Department of Corrections, too. As he puts it, the current juvenile system may have had problems in the past, but it’s improving and shouldn’t be scrapped.
The governor’s reorganization order will go into effect unless either the House or Senate votes to overturn it.