The 20th Judicial District’s Juvenile Services has to slash over $32,000 from its 2016 budget, thanks to the State of Kansas’ $62 million budget realignment, Juvenile Services Director Laurie White told the Barton County Commission Monday morning.
White came before the commission seeking approval for her revised spending plan, which had to be revamped following new figures from the Kansas Department of Corrections. The new total was reduced by $32,385.61, moving the original budget of $668,233.43 down to $635,847.82.
“We just hope to hang on for a while,” White said.
To make up this loss, White said they are going to forgo filling a full-time position, and reallocate a portion of that salary to on-call employees. “We will probably be using them more.”
In addition, a portion of the money set aside for administrative salaries will go to prevention personnel and other services.
The problems stem from the state’s budget shortfall, White said. The DOC was mandated to take a 5 percent cut and that same cut trickled down to Juvenile Services.
The adult side of DOC faced the same reduction. However, White said it had funds set aside to absorb the loss.
“Our cuts have to come from our operating budget,” she said. “It means reducing services to the public.”
This involves shifting more work onto existing staff, many of whom are already overworked, she said. “Any more cuts and we might as well not have services at all.”
It is already getting close to that point, White said. If there are any more spending reductions, it could mean eliminating part-time employees or more substantial layoffs.
“This is not a good time for you,” Commission Kenny Schremmer said. “You’ve been fighting this on many occasions.”
The 20th Judicial District Juvenile Services serves a five-county area consisting of Barton, Stafford, Ellsworth, Rice and Russell counties. However, Barton is the host county for the district so the budgets must be approved by its County Commission.
Juvenile Services is the host agency for six separate programs available to all youth and families in the Judicial District. Those programs consist of Juvenile Intake and Assessment (JIAS), Juvenile Intensive Supervision Probation (JISP), Community Case Management (CCMA), Teen Court, Project S.T.A.Y. (School Truancy Alternative for Youth) and Journey to Change.
It offers programs that are attended on a voluntary basis and those that are court ordered that involve informal supervision to adjudication. The newest program, Teen Court, is a reinstated program that began on Oct. 1, 2007.