FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Last year, the ACLU of Kansas released a report that found Kansas prosecutors utilized diversion in felony cases at half the national average. Kansas could reduce its prison population and save $8.9 million annually if Kansas prosecutors embraced diversion at the national average of 9 percent.
Following efforts in New Orleans and Orange County, California, today’s lawsuit is the third the ACLU has filed against active district attorneys since October as a part of nationwide efforts to reform prosecutorial practices nationwide.
The ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice — an unprecedented effort to reduce the U.S. jail and prison population by 50% and to combat racial disparities in the criminal justice system — has launched this new, multi-year initiative to ensure prosecutors are held accountable for fueling mass incarceration and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The ACLU accomplishes this through legislative advocacy, voter education, and litigation efforts to change incentives for prosecutors and achieve its decarceration goals.
The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to ending mass incarceration in the state and advocates for reforms to make the justice system fair to all Kansans, regardless of race. Among its efforts, the organization has created You Make the Case to focus public attention on prosecutors’ potential to reduce mass incarceration.