Douglas County Commission to discuss components of adult and juvenile criminal justice systems

photo by: August Rudisell

The Douglas County Courthouse is pictured in this contributed photo from June 2020.

Douglas County leaders will soon discuss the various punishment and diversion programs of the county’s criminal justice system, including concerns with some of those components.

The Douglas County Commission will receive an overview of the Criminal Justice Services Department from department head Pam Weigand as part of its study session Wednesday, according to a memo to the commission.

The overview will include information about both adult and juvenile criminal justice programs, including pretrial release supervision, the enhanced diversion program, the behavioral health court and the drug court. The house arrest program, community service program, juvenile detention center, day school program and juvenile diversion program will also be discussed, among other topics.

As part of the overview, the commission will discuss “challenges, goals and future discussion items” of the Criminal Justice Services Department. Those include the future of the Juvenile Detention Center, the Douglas County Pretrial Assessment Tool and concerns about the future of the University of Kansas Truancy Prevention & Diversion Program, among other issues.

In other business, the commission will receive a report detailing the number of bookings and other data for people with serious mental illness, or SMI. The data is being tracked as part of the county’s latest effort to reduce jail stays for people with SMI. The commission was scheduled to receive the update at its meeting last week, but it was deferred because the meeting ran late.

The County Commission will convene at 4 p.m. for its study session and 5:30 p.m. for its regular business meeting. The meeting will be open to the walk-in public at the county courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., but a link for the public to watch live online is available on the county’s website, Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 955 5835 5340.


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