In 2017, the ACLU of Kansas launched the Racial Justice Network. The RJN is committed to an inclusive future that serves all Kansans, by removing barriers to racial equity. From public schools where students of color are too often confined to racially isolated and inferior programs, to a criminal justice system that disproportionately targets, incarcerates people of color and criminalizes poverty, to the starkly segregated world of housing and access to food, the dream of full equality remains elusive.
Achieving these goals requires coordinated community outreach and advocacy. Whereas the ACLU of Kansas has initiatives targeting the state’s criminal justice and elections systems, these are not the only issues that confront communities of color in Kansas. The RJN’s mission is to decrease racial disparities and institutional discrimination faced by people of color in Kansas by incorporating a network of voices from these communities. The RJN’s priorities are driven by its members, and will evolve to address issues as they arise across the state.
RACIAL PROFILING - Learn how law enforcement agencies are - or are not - meeting their legal obligations under state law, KSA 22-4610, which requires all law enforcement agencies to adopt a detailed and written policy to preempt racial or other biased-based policing.
RISK ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENTS (RAIs) - A government agency, such as a District Attorney’s office can use RAIs as a means to determine who gets bail and how much, who gets released pre-trial because they are deemed not to be a risk These instruments are typically defended as streamlining the process for making pretrial decisions, but these assessment tools perpetuate the systems of white supremacy that has infected all facets of the criminal legal systems, such as policing, prosecutors, and courts, while posing threats to civil liberties. Ultimately, they may not even do what they promise, falling short of reducing the prison population.