A coalition consisting of lawyers, prison rehabilitation advocates and religious organizations is pushing for changes to the state’s criminal justice system. Kansans for Smart Justice unveiled a series of measures at a Statehouse news conference yesterday (MON). Their recommendations include reduced sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. Micah Kubic with the ACLU of Kansas says low risk drug offenders are filling up the state's prisons and costing taxpayers more than 2-and-a-half million dollars a year.
The group wants to see fewer low-risk offenders put in jail and more of them offered community based treatment and counseling options. Kansans for Smart Justice is also promoting changes in the state's civil asset forfeiture laws. Currently, law enforcement can seize property that they suspect is involved in a criminal act. The coalition wants law amended to require a criminal conviction before the state is allowed to seize private property.