LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two bills aimed at changing Kentucky's Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) moved forward in Frankfort after passing the Senate Tuesday afternoon.
One bill would require the state to hire a third party to conduct a performance review of the department which many lawmakers have said is in crisis.
It would also require treatment to be available to children with mental illness or severe emotional disturbance.
"We must also ensure we are putting forth the best possible programs to get the best outcomes for those who will return home from DJJ custody and/or programming and those who will transfer to the Department of Corrections," Republican Sen. Danny Carroll said.
He added the department should never return "to the state it has functioned in over recent years."
The bill would allocate $55 million over the span of two years to pay for the changes.
Those bills now move to the House for discussion.
Another proposal that would re-open Louisville's juvenile detention center has already passed the House but still needs Senate approval.
Sign up for the WHAS11 newsletter: "WHAS Up Kentuckiana." Get the latest headlines and videos from around Kentuckiana delivered daily to your inbox.