October 12, 2023

Kansans are ready to take major steps in reforming our criminal legal system, and we’re here to help them do so.

The ACLU of Kansas recently conducted in-depth polling to understand Kansans’ beliefs, and they spoke out resoundingly for civil liberties, fairness, and meaningful justice.

Here were the major takeaways:

1.    Kansans have had enough of our harmful legal system.

Kansans know our criminal legal system is hurting our communities and resoundingly want reform, across partisan and demographic differences. . 

•    Nearly 7 out of 10 Kansans support bail reform. Specifically, they supported a reform that would allow most people who are arrested to return home the same day if they do not pose a flight risk and are not a threat to anyone else. These pre-trial release decisions would be based on individual circumstances – not just how much money someone has.
•    8 out of 10 Kansans support replacing juvenile court fines with alternative accountability measures. This reform would help prevent Kansans families from accumulating massive debt from the court system. 
•    Over half of Kansans support eliminating administrative fees for Kansas kids in the legal system, and with more information, that number grows to 63%.

2.    Kansans are ready for comprehensive marijuana policy reform

It’s no secret that Kansas has fallen well behind neighboring states on marijuana policy—and Kansans want to see that change.

8 of 10 Kansas voters support allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Further, 7 of 10 Kansans support removing criminal penalties for marijuana possession.

Not only are Kansans ready for medical marijuana, they support further steps to heal some of the harm done by the War on Drugs, and wants to see Kansas be more in-step with many states’ policies.

3.    The only ones holding back Kansas are those in power.

Not only are these ideas massively popular, they’re popular across different demographics and party affiliations.

For example, the bail reform and juvenile fees reform mentioned earlier were supported by a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans, and a majority of Independents.

They’re also supported by a majority of every age group, including 73% of those 65 and older showing support for bail reform. And when broken down by gender or race we see the same pattern: a majority of every group supports these policies.

Given this broad support, we must remind our elected leaders that they work for the people of Kansas, and the people of Kansas support criminal legal reform. 

We’re working to make these reforms a reality in Kansas – and it’s past time to take action. Find out how you can work for a better legal system for you and your fellow Kansans here.