Increasingly harsh criminal justice policies over the last three decades have resulted in a system that relies on over-criminalization, mass incarceration, and racial injustice. Instead of ensuring public safety and addressing the root causes of crime, the war on drugs has led to unconstitutional police practices, unfair and inconsistent sentencing, and abuses of authority which only harm, rather than help, the public, and extremely disproportionately affect minorities.
Nationally, the ACLU's Smart Justice movement has sought to orchestrate national reforms to the “front end” of the criminal justice system from policing to sentencing. This includes putting an end to racially motivated policing and sentencing, increasing government accountability and transparency, and reversing the shift toward excessive incarceration.
What are we doing about it?
The ACLU of Kansas launched the Reimagine Justice campaign, which centers on creating change in Kansas's criminal legal system. The main objectives outlined in the campaign are eliminating fines and fees in juvenile courts, decriminalizing medical marijuana, and decreasing the number of people detained pretrial.
We know that reimagining our criminal legal system is not a partisan, ideological, or political issue. It is an issue that impacts all of us. And we're fighting for better, fairer, more prosperous outcomes for those who come in contact with it.