Bill Seeking Juvenile Justice Changes Advances

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A bill that proposes sweeping changes to Kentucky's juvenile justice system has been approved by a state Senate committee.

The measure aims to keep non-violent offenders from being placed in juvenile detention centers.

Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield said Thursday his bill calls for the biggest changes in decades to juvenile justice. He says it could save the state up to $24 million over five years by placing more juveniles in community-based treatment instead of putting them in detention centers.

The bill cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee after a lengthy hearing. It now goes to the full Senate.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Director Terry Brooks says the bill represents progress.

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