Right on Crime recently highlighted a Kentucky judge’s pilot program to better handle status offenders. Now the legislature, too, is joining the effort.

With a unanimous vote, the House Judiciary Committee in Kentucky recently approved establishing a task force, the “Unified Juvenile Code Task Force” to study the issues plaguing Kentucky’s juvenile justice system.

This comes after heightened public attention to the system following instances of delinquency charges filed against very young children—as young as five—as well as high rates of detention for status offenders.

If approved, the task force would study the system and recommend legislation for consideration in 2013.

Juvenile justice reforms in other states have produced savings of millions of dollars and more effective treatment for juvenile delinquents. Kentucky’s focus on this issue could bring the state’s system in line with those best practices and produce better outcomes for both the Bluegrass State’s taxpayers and juveniles.