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On August 16, 2021, Gov. Andy Beshear appointed Vicki Reed as Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
Commissioner Reed pledges to work hand-in-hand with Kentucky's families and community leaders to set the state's youth on a path to a success while reducing youth crime and recidivism. In this role, she will be responsible for the management and oversight of almost 1,000 employees who serve the state's justice-involved youth housed at DJJ's Regional Juvenile Detention Centers, Youth Development Centers and Group Homes, including youth under supervised placement in the community, by providing the care, education and skills training they need to become successful citizens.
Commissioner Reed previously served at DJJ as an executive staff advisor and later as director of the Division of Classification and Placement Services, from 1998 to 2004. In that role, she assisted in the development and implementation of the statewide detention plan, which removed youth from adult jails and county-operated juvenile detention centers into the current model of a regional network of facilities and alternative programming, in accordance with House Bill 117 (1996 legislative session). She also assisted in developing DJJ's drug testing protocols and substance abuse programming.
In addition to previously serving in leadership at DJJ, Commissioner Reed gained vast experience in the juvenile justice system, having served as a former juvenile court probation officer, executive director of Metro Group Homes Inc., director of the Bluegrass Area Office for Necco Foster Care Agency and most recently director of the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Initiative (KJJI). As director of KJJI, she consulted with national organizations, including the National Partnership for Juvenile Services, Coalition for Juvenile Justice and Campaign for Youth Justice, to promote achievements of Kentucky's juvenile justice system including diversion, small treatment oriented juvenile facilities and regional juvenile detention centers. She also advocated for legislation and policies that promoted public safety and treatment of youth in a humane, age-appropriate manner.
Commissioner Reed is a native of Lexington and a graduate of Bryan Station High School. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a B.S. in law enforcement and a master's degree in criminal justice with specialization in juvenile justice.