Douglas County Commission approves bylaw changes for criminal justice council

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinator Robert Bieniecki updates county commissioners on planned changes for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council's bylaws during the commission's meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019.

Douglas County commissioners on Wednesday approved some changes to bylaws for the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

The county established the council on March 9, 2016, to bring to the table a number of leaders with experience in different realms of the criminal justice system. Its previous bylaws list specific goals for the CJCC, but the revision will allow for a more fluid plan.

“Instead of having the goals listed in the bylaws, we put a statement to say that we’re going to create a plan and review it each year,” Robert Bieniecki, the county’s criminal justice coordinator, told the commission.

The membership changes remove the Lawrence city manager and add the Baldwin City, Eudora and University of Kansas police chiefs; currently, only the Lawrence police chief is a member. It also adds the county director of behavioral health projects and “one former consumer of the criminal justice system,” to be nominated by the county jail’s director of re-entry.

The new bylaws also state that any future changes will come back to the County Commission for approval.

In other business, commissioners approved authorizing the sheriff’s office to contract with Treanor Architects for design and planning of Douglas County Jail security system upgrades at a cost of $85,660.

Beginning Wednesday, March 6, the commission’s meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. Commissioners announced the time change, which aims to make it easier for members of the public to attend, on Feb. 13.

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