This policy framework outlines policy recommendations developed as part of a Justice Reinvestment Initiative effort in Kansas from 2020 to 2022 in collaboration with the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission.
This document outlines policy recommendations to improve community supervision, victim services, behavioral health supports, employment opportunities, and housing for people in the criminal justice system; it provides details on six specific policy recommendations and their implementation and informs of various other recommendations that were passed into law. The document is the product of the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission (Commission) efforts to collect and analyze state data and assist in developing appropriate policy recommendations that prioritize corrections spending on effective recidivism-reduction strategies, in response to prison population growth predictions. The Commission was composed of 22 members, including state leaders representing all three branches of Kansas government along with criminal justice system stakeholders from local governments, nonprofit organizations. The Justice Reinvestment Initiative project’s key challenges that it sought to address were: increases in sentences to prison for drug offenses; use of prison to sanction people who violate supervision conditions; and barriers to work and limited reentry supports. The project’s recommendations related to improving supervision by focusing resources where they can be most effective, expanding prosecutor diversions, and extending the existence of the Commission, resulted in legislation that was signed into law in May 2021. Recommendations that focused on improving specialty court programs, allowing people to petition to be removed from a drug offenses registry, and ensuring that people on supervision were supervised by only one entity, were signed into law in April 2022.
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