As engaged community members, it's important—but often difficult—to stay properly informed on the big issues facing our state. Quick news stories, loaded phrases, and incomplete information aren't enough to get the full picture, and can even leave people more confused.

The ACLU of Kansas Hot Topics Series is here to help.

These issues can seem complicated, but they don't have to be overwhelming to understand. Our Legal Team has prepared these explainers to give an easy but thorough explanation on the biggest issues facing Kansas so you can know the background of the issue, what's at stake, and why and how we're fighting for Civil Liberties.

Stand Your Ground

Sedgwick District Attorney Marc Bennett cited Stand Your Ground laws in his announcement that he would not seek charges against county employees in the death of C.J. Lofton, even after it was medically ruled a homicide. This brought up questions about Stand Your Ground laws in Kansas.

February 9, 2022

Kansas Offender Registration Act

Across the country, people convicted of serious crimes are required to register with the state after completing their sentence. Kansas has some of the strictest requirements for post-sentence registration, which dramatically increases the scope—and harm—of this registry.

February 8, 2022

Terminal Medical Release

Across Kansas, there are people in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections suffering from terminal medical conditions affords people compassion, fairness, and dignity.

February 4, 2022

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Civil asset forfeiture is being used by police departments countrywide to take money, vehicles, or even homes from individuals with little oversight. Ezekial Edwards, former Director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project calls civil asset forfeiture “legalized robbery by law enforcement."

January 28, 2022

Cuffing and Shackling of Youth

Kansas courts indiscriminately shackle and restrain children appearing before them. Courts are not required to first decide whether it is necessary, and nothing prohibits courts from using restraints on children as a matter of course.

January 13, 2022

Ensuring Educational Equity

A hotly debated but deeply misunderstood topic relates to teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Kansas classrooms. In reality, there are no plans to teach this advanced graduate curriculum in K-12, but this lie threatens freedom of speech and our kids' ability to get an honest, quality education.

January 7, 2022