Doe v. Younger

Doe v. Younger challenged the conditions of confinement for juveniles at the Kenton County Detention Center as well as the illegal confinement of juveniles in sight and sound of adult offenders and the illegal detention of status offenders. The JJDPA claims were later dropped from the litigation when Kentucky withdrew from the Act. A tentative settlement was reached in September 1993. Because the Kentucky legislature did not pass legislation prohibiting holding facilities, the Youth Law Center tried this case in April 1996. In its July 1996 decision, the court described the facility as stark and prison like and the judge commented that he had toured federal penitentiaries for convicted adult felons that were less foreboding. The court’s decision increased the staff ratio and ensured that juveniles will be provided one hour of recreation and physical exercise every day. The court resolved the last two issues with its December 1997 decision. Because of fire safety, the facility is no longer used for holding juveniles and all youth were transferred to the new Campbell County regional facility when it was completed in 1999.