Smart Justice can
Make communities stronger and safer
Our state's criminal justice system and prison system costs too much, needlessly incarcerates too many people, works against those trying to make a fresh start, and is permeated by racial disparity. While the state's crime rate has fallen consistently in recent years, the Kansas prison population has more than quadrupled from 2,300 in 1978 to 10,000 in 2018.
Keeping 9,700 Kansans, many of them non-violent drug offenders or individuals with mental illnesses, in prison cost taxpayers $244 million in 2017. The total rises by millions more when local government spending on correctional facilities is included.
This broken system can be fixed. But to do that, Kansas needs smarter justice policies—ones that will strengthen communities, reduce the number of incarcerated people, and reduce costs. With smarter justice policies, taxpayer money now spent on prisons could instead be invested in education, healthcare, and crime prevention.