Versailles Community Program called Forward Focus

Forward Focus provides alternatives to detention monitoring services for youth needing to take positive and determined steps forward towards a better future. KYUMH responds to referrals from the Department of Juvenile Justice throughout Kentucky to provide these services to court ordered youth. We not only monitor their location, but we assist the families in accessing needed resources. Our goal is to stabilize the family giving youth the help they need, so that they will not be removed from their home.

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, status offenders* do not require secure detention to ensure their compliance with court orders or to protect public safety. However, recent data indicate that one-third of all youth held in juvenile detention centers are detained for status offenses and technical violations of probation (Arthur, 2001). Detaining youth in facilities prior to adjudication should be an option of last resort only for serious, violent, and chronic offenders and for those who repeatedly fail to appear for scheduled court dates. Secure detention and confinement are almost never appropriate for status offenders and certain other small groups of offenders those who are very young, vulnerable, first-time offenders; those charged with non-serious offenses; and those with active, involved parents or strong community-based support systems.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB), through the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, supports programs for the improvement of the juvenile justice system and delinquency prevention. Funds for this program are made available by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.

Referrals are only accepted from the Detention Alternatives Coordinators who work for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The general target population is male and female ages 12-17. The program serves low level public offenders and status offenders. Some youth will be awaiting a hearing in court while others may be youth found in violation of a court order, violation of probation, or ordered to spend time in detention for a specified period of time as a disposition. Because some juveniles are in pre-trial status rather than post trial, the services provided under this program focus on supervision and service referral and case management rather than long term treatment.

The Versailles Campus currently serves 92 counties throughout the state. See the catchment area map. (download PDF of map).

Additional program information can be found by looking at the JJAB website at www.jjab.ky.gov

Nicole Lavy-Joy
Versailles Campus
Vice President of Programs and Services
(859) 873-4481
nicole.lavy@kyumh.org