Decreasing the number of people detained in Kansas pre-trial.

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.

Bail: Wealth-based Pre-trial Release

Pretrial detention can have devastating consequences and should be used only when necessary. But in Kansas, this is not the case. Across Kansas, thousands sit in jail pretrial – many because they do not have enough money to afford cash bail.

August 18, 2022 Criminal Legal Reform