After scathing reports, Beshear announces changes to juvenile justice system

Juvenile Justice Center
Juvenile Justice Center(WAVE)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 11:15 AM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky Governor announces a major change to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

This comes after multiple riots, people getting hurt and accusations of sexual assault and cover-ups exposed by WAVE News Troubleshooters.

Thursday, Beshear announced the creation of an all female juvenile detention center in Campbell County, about two hours northeast of Louisville.

“Our policies and laws that govern juvenile justice were created over 20 years ago. It is time positive changes are made to better respond to today’s needs,” said Beshear.

“By separating female and male juveniles, we are enhancing the safety of our staff and youth in state custody. I remain committed to doing everything possible to provide health care, education and safety to all Kentuckians – including our youth who deserve a second chance.”

Since September WAVE News began a series of investigations detailing major concerns including teens having sex at two juvenile detention centers in Lyndon and Adair County.

On Nov. 11, during a riot at the Adair facility, a female detainee was allegedly raped. An employee was flown to the hospital with serious injuries.

Numerous whistleblowers came forward begging for change. They spoke of assaults between youth and on staff, teens kept from showers, phone calls, and schooling because of a lack of staff. They recalled teens being kept in isolation for days at a time.

The Legislative Oversight and Investigations Committee launched an investigation, spearheaded by Rep. Jason Nemes. He was appalled that female and male teens were being housed in the same areas as the whistleblowers told WAVE Troubleshooters.

The teens were removed from the detention center in Lyndon following the public outcry.

Beshear also stated he expects the announcement of charges by Kentucky State Police for the teens involved in the riot at the Adair facility Nov. 11.

This story will be updated.