Home » Department of Juvenile Justice youth workers get big salary bump

Department of Juvenile Justice youth workers get big salary bump

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 9, 2017) — Gov. Matt Bevin, Justice Secretary John Tilley and Commissioner Carey Cockerell today announced a double-digit pay raise for entry-level youth workers at the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The move, which takes effect in April, will provide a 20 percent increase in entry-level salaries for Youth Worker I positions. In addition, every staff member currently employed in the positions of Youth Worker II, III, and Youth Worker Supervisor will receive a pay increase if their salaries are less than 20 percent above the entry-level rate for their position.

The department is also implementing a grade increase for Youth Worker III and Youth Worker Supervisor positions to provide a career ladder for employees. It is the latest effort by the Bevin Administration to protect those who protect us.

“We intend to take care of those who take care of us, among whom are people who care for the youth in the juvenile justice system,” said Bevin. “We want to ensure we give due respect from a compensation standpoint to all individuals who have willingly stepped up to serve in this capacity. To all the people who work in this department, thank you: there’s no amount of money that would make this job worth it if you didn’t truly have a heart for what you do.”

For years, starting salaries for youth workers have stagnated at $11.25 per hour, resulting in 100 percent turnover and difficulties with recruiting. Too often the department pays to train new employees only to lose them to other jobs in the private sector or to similar positions in jails or prisons.