The ACLU of Kansas, along with partners, filed a class action suit on May 26, 2022 against the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), citing wait times as long as 13 months for competency evaluations and restoration treatment for people facing criminal charges.
The pre-trial detention system in the United States undermines the principle of innocence until proven guilty. It punishes individuals for their poverty by holding them in jail before they are convicted, causing harm to families and communities in Kansas. The cash bail system creates a two-tier justice system, favoring those who can afford to pay for their freedom while keeping poor individuals in jail. This disproportionately affects Black defendants and perpetuates systemic racial and economic inequality. Detaining people who cannot afford bail in overcrowded jails compromises safety without reducing crime. Additionally, long wait times for court-ordered mental health evaluations in Kansas jails result in individuals spending more time awaiting evaluation than they would in prison if convicted. Lack of comprehensive mental health care during this time worsens their condition and hampers their ability to respond to treatment later.