Updated:
June 12, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Kansas filed a lawsuit on June 8th, 2018 on behalf of a faith-based organization against a county prosecutor for failing to implement diversion programs in accordance with Kansas law and for pursuing the expensive and disproportionately harsh prosecution of individuals posing minimal community risks. 

In 1980, the Kansas Supreme Court recognized that the notice requirement helps create a “uniform procedure to provide an alternative to formal conviction,” and the Kansas Attorney General’s Office has told the county attorneys under its authority that the purpose of the notification requirement is to “safeguard a defendant from discrimination by a prosecutor.” Therefore all county attorneys “must comply with the statutory diversion requirements.”

Markle’s failure to follow Kansas diversion law negatively impacted the work the Kansas Crossroads Foundation, a faith-based organization that provides drug rehabilitation and economic development services to Wilson and Montgomery County defendants convicted of drug offenses.

Since many KCF clients were likely not given the opportunity to apply for diversion, KCF has had to divert critical resources away from rehabilitation programs to conduct jail counseling sessions and help defendants comply with the terms of their probation or parole.

 

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