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JRI Years: 2007, 2013, 2021



In 2006, Kansas’s prison population was projected to increase 22 percent by 2016 at a cost of approximately $500 million in additional construction and operating costs. The state worked with the CSG Justice Center that year to analyze its criminal justice system drivers and identify policies to maintain or increase public safety while reducing spending.


Kansas’s first Justice Reinvestment approach in 2007 resulted in the passage of Senate Bill 14, which expanded availability of in-prison treatment and services that have been shown to help reduce the risk of reoffending. The bill also provided people with an incentive for completing these programs by establishing a 60-day program credit for adults who successfully complete such treatment and services. The legislation resulted in several changes to policy and practice in Kansas.1


From FY2007 to FY2011, the number of people admitted to prison in Kansas for a parole or post-release supervision violation decreased 17 percent. Policymakers also increased their initial investment in community-based treatment and supervision by 64 percent, from $7.3 million in FY2008 to $2.6 million in FY2012. Much of this funding was directed toward communities with high rates of crime and admissions to state prison.2

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Expand good-time/earned-time prison credits/reentry leave
  • Authorize performance incentive funding
  • Improve behavioral health interventions



Kansas used JRI for a second time with technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center to address the real and projected growth of its prison population. Between 2009 and 2012, Kansas’s prison population increased by almost 9 percent and was projected to grow another 23 percent by 2021 at a cost of at least $81 million.


On June 1, 2013, Kansas enacted House Bill 2170, which focuses supervision resources on the people at the highest risk of reoffending and invests in the expansion of behavioral health services. It also imposes progressive sanctions for repeat probation violations and requires probation agencies to respond to minor probation violations with swift, certain, and cost-effective sanctions. The bill resulted in policy and practice changes across agencies.3


As a result of JRI, Kansas invested $8 million over 3 fiscal years to enhance behavioral health services including hiring experienced service providers, expanding use of mental health evaluations and drug testing for people on probation, and increasing access to stabilizing medications for individuals on community supervision. Kansas experienced an 800-person reduction in its prison population as compared to pre-reform projections, and 5,000 individuals on community supervision received behavioral health services over a 5-year period.4 Such strategies support increased success for people at the highest risk of failing on supervision and a reduction in Kansas’s prison population.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Revise parole hearings/decision/eligibility standards
  • Expand good-time/earned-time prison credits/reentry leave
  • Authorize administrative jail sanctions
  • Authorize/develop/modify graduated responses or matrices for violations
  • Cap revocation time
  • Establish mandatory reentry supervision
  • Establish/expand earned discharge (probation/parole)
  • Improve behavioral health interventions
  • Require data collection/performance measures



Facing a state budget shortfall and the continued need to address prison population growth, in 2019, the Kansas legislature established the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission. In January 2020, Kansas leaders took additional action to support the Commission by launching JRI for a third time to address system challenges, with technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center.

2021–2022 Policies

The Commission voted on recommendations in late November 2020, all but one of which was approved unanimously. The recommendations were provided to state leaders for consideration in early 2021. In May 2021, some of these recommendations were enacted in legislation (House Bill [HB] 2026, HB 2121, HB 2077, and Rule 191) that focuses on diverting people convicted of drug offenses and improving supervision by strengthening evidence-based practices. Additional legislation was enacted in April 2022 that requires the Kansas Supreme Court to adopt rules for the establishment and operation of specialty court programs, allows people to petition to be removed from a drug registry, and ensures that people on supervision are supervised by only one entity (Senate Bill [SB] 408, SB 366 and HB 2361). To achieve these goals, Kansas implemented additional policy and practice changes.5

2021–2022 Outcomes

After JRI, Kansas eliminated concurrent supervision to improve outcomes for individuals on community supervision. By consolidating supervision across agencies, the state can promote success for people on supervision, eliminate duplicative services, prioritize staff time for serving individuals at the highest risk of failure on supervision, and ensure a fiscally responsible use of taxpayer resources. The state is now working to implement a memorandum of understanding process between supervision agencies and to establish ongoing data monitoring, all of which will support the goal of increasing supervision success and reducing prison population growth.

For more information, see Justice Reinvestment in Kansas.

JRI-Driven Policies and Practices

  • Reduce collateral consequences associated with conviction
  • Require evidence-based practices
  • Reform/establish specialty courts or diversion programs
  • Improve restitution/victim notification
  • Establish/extend oversight council
  • Improve records management system
  • Expand behavioral health services

1 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2023, Justice Reinvestment in Kansas, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 17, 2023 from

2 The Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2012, Justice Reinvestment in Kansas Overview, New York, NY: The Council of State Governments Justice Center, retrieved May 17, 2023 from

3 Ibid.

4 The Urban Institute, 2020, Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) Kansas, Washington DC: The Urban Institute, retrieved May 17, 2023 from

5 Ibid.

Photo by Srudisell under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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