Starting May 2020, the ACLU of Kansas began filing clemency applications for early release on behalf of individuals incarcerated in the Kansas Department of Corrections’ overcrowded and ill-equipped facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As of February 9, we have filed 105 applications for clemency with the Prisoner Review Board and the governor. 0 individuals have received a decision.

The Clemency Project is currently prioritizing individuals who: (1) have underlying medical issues placing them at risk for COVID-19; (2) have completed a majority of their sentence; (3) are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes; or (4) can present a compelling case for rehabilitation and thorough release plans.


What is Clemency?

Clemency is early release granted by the governor. It does not go through a court and is not an appeal. If someone is granted clemency, it does not remove any active charges from their record.

What is the process for applying for clemency?

As part of an individual’s clemency application, a legal notice with a “reasons for seeking clemency statement” will be sent to the judge and district attorney in each county the individual has active charges. A notice will also be published in each county newspaper stating the individual’s name, sentencing date, and convictions to notify the public of the application for clemency. The final application with the “reasons for seeking clemency” statement is then filed with the Prisoner Review Board.

What should be expected after filing for clemency?

After the Prisoner Review Board receives an application for clemency, the Board has 120 days to finalize its review before sending the application to the governor’s office for the final decision. There is no time limit or requirement for the governor’s decision.

Is a lawyer or the ACLU of Kansas required in order to file for clemency?

No. An individual does not need legal representation to file an application for executive clemency and may for clemency for themself by obtaining all of the relevant paperwork and further details in IMPP-23-101A through their KDOC Unit Team Manager. Click here to go to the Kansas Department of Corrections' page about clemency.

How do I contact the Clemency Project?

If you would like to contact the Clemency Project on behalf of your incarcerated loved one, please email [email protected] or leave a voice message at 913-428-9024.