Kansas Receives Grant to Reduce Re-offense Among Juvenile Sex Offenders

Juvenile Justice Authority Commissioner J. Russell Jennings Wednesday announced that Kansas has received $881,217 in federal grant funds to improve services for juvenile sex offenders in an effort to reduce re-offense rates.

"Project SOAR, Successful Outcomes Achieve Reentry, is designed to provide improved assessments and information to judges in 12 pilot judicial districts in 30 counties for making decisions regarding the most appropriate disposition, or what are commonly known as sentencing, decisions," Commissioner Jennings said. "It will also allow us to devleop and implement improved sex offender programming for moderate to high risk youth in the juvenile correctional facilities and to implement effective reentry practices for youth returning to the communities from a juvenile correctional facility."

The grant will be targeted to providing pre-disposition assessment services to approximately 140 youth per year in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 14th, 22nd, 29th and 31st Judicial Districts.

These districts represent 43% of the adjudicated juvenile sex offenders placed in the custody of the Juvenile Justice Authority. These youth will be identified as those needing assessments regarding their risk for future offending balanced with an acceptable level of public safety.

It will also focus on approximately 50 youth per year in the juvenile correctional facilities to provide intensive evidence based treatment programs and reentry services that involve the youth, the Community Supervision Officer, Sex Offender Program Specialist, Sex Offender Case Manager, family, and the community.

The Juvenile Justice Authority will use a $294,254 in-kind state match in addition to the grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Prevention Programs to have the sex offender units operational by June 2009. The grant will end March 31, 2011.