Fund To Aid Juveniles May Be In Financial Trouble

A Kansas fund intended to help keep young people out of prison could be out of money by 2024 if spending and projected funding remains the same, according to the non-partisan legislative research department.

The Evidence-based Programs Fund grew out of a 2016 law designed to shift the focus in juvenile justice from incarceration to rehabilitation.

The effort has had some success, with population at the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex dropping 40% in five years.

The Kansas City Star reported that with annual funding and savings from reduced costs for incarceration, the fund accumulated a $42 million reserve by this year.

Governor Laura Kelly this year asked the Legislature to transfer the entire $42 million to other state needs.

Lawmakers approved moving $21 million out of the account.

Sam Coleman, a spokesman for Kelly, said that with annual appropriations, it’s unlikely the Department of Corrections will deplete the fund.