'Justice Index' puts Kentucky courts near bottom in nation for service to disadvantaged

Kentucky's court system ranked among the lowest in the nation for serving the poor, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged citizens.

The "Justice Index" rankings assessed how much free legal aid is available, how well states serve the disabled and people who speak limited English, and how much help is available to people representing themselves in court. The rankings were compiled by the National Center for Access to Justice.

Kentucky scored 33.4 out of 100. Only Oklahoma ranked lower, at 23.7. Other states near the bottom were Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana.

"Across the country, there are millions of people who don't have legal representation and face other barriers in their abilities to protect their interests and enforce their rights," said David Udell, the center's executive director. "Our Justice Index is our online resource in identifying best practices ... ensuring that people do have access to the justice system."

Connecticut was the highest-ranked state, scoring 73.4. Courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest score in the country, 80.9.