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Justice Reinvestment in Kansas: Overview

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2020
7 pages
This report provides an overview of recent criminal justice trends in Kansas that warranted state officials to request support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Justice Reinvestment approach to address system challenges, and the subsequent Justice Reinvestment strategy for assisting the Kansas Justice system is described.
Kansas is facing a budget crisis amid the need for criminal justice system improvements in community supervision, programming, and treatment that will reduce recidivism and improve public safety. As recently as April 2020, the Kansas budget was forecast to have a $653 million shortfall in fiscal year (FY) 2021. Before March 2020, Kansas prisons were over 100 percent capacity, and the prison population was projected to increase 14 percent by FY 2029, which was estimated to cost the state $209 million. In January 2020, Kansas leaders requested support from the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and The Pew Charitable Trusts in using a Justice Reinvestment approach to improve the cost-effectiveness of the state's criminal justice system. This report describes how the three major steps of the Justice Reinvestment approach were implemented in Kansas. The three steps involved 1) analyzing selected types of data and developing policy recommendations, 2) adopting new policies and installing reinvestment strategies, and 3) measuring performance under the new strategies and policies. Under the Justice Reinvestment strategy, expert guidance was provided to state officials by the staff of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.

Date Published: October 1, 2020