Last year, 1,746 children were incarcerated in Kentucky for status offenses, which are nonviolent activities such as skipping school or running away.
That’s the second-highest youth incarceration rate in the country, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates.
“There are proven ways to address youth misbehavior that are more effective and less expensive than locking kids up, but we are not using them nearly enough,” said Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto, long-time advocate for children in Kentucky and current Litigation Director for Children’s Law Center. “This not only has consequences for the youth, but also negatively impacts community safety. It is imperative that we take steps to change the all too common practice of locking up these children and youth.”