News

News

NEW PROSECUTOR-LED DIVERSION PROGRAM COMING IN 2018

District Attorney Charles Branson hopes to launch a new pre-trial prosecutor led diversion program in 2018.  Branson started work on the project in early 2017 as part of an effort to find meaningful alternatives to the repeated incarceration of women in the county jail.  

The new pre-trial diversion program is aimed at non-violent repeat female offenders. The goal is to offer a program that will allow for quick release from jail to a suite of support services that will address issues of substance abuse, mental health, housing and employment.  If the program is completed, pending charges are dismissed with prejudice.  If the participant is not successful or does not wish to participate, the criminal case would proceed as normal.

In July, the District Attorney’s office was awarded a Technical Assistance Grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).  BJA has partnered with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Center for Court Innovation to assist the District Attorney’s Office with implementing the new program.

The District Attorney’s office has partnered with DCCCA and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office’s Reentry program. Those agencies were exploring the creation of a substance abuse disorder treatment program and a social detoxification program.  “The partnership made sense,” Branson said.  “We are all trying to accomplish the same goals, diverting these women from the criminal justice system in a meaningful way that hopefully prevents or delays their return to jail,” Branson continued.

In addition to DCCCA and Reentry, Bert Nash, Douglas County Administration, the Lawrence Douglas County Housing Authority, Friends of Recovery and Douglas County Adult Services are also participating with the creation of the new program.

The program is different from most pre-trial diversion programs because prior convictions may not bar participation in the program.  “Not all convictions are the same.  Just because someone has a prior conviction does not mean they are excluded from consideration in a program like this.  There will be some convictions that will certainly preclude participation such as prior violent felonies,” Branson said. “However, prior minor offenses such as a drug offense or theft are going to be expected in our target population,” Branson concluded.

Mary Shultz
KU Mock Trial Looking For Attorney Volunteers

KU Mock Trial is hosting the Jayhawk Invitational on January 27-28th and is looking for attorneys to volunteer as competition judges. Over 250 college students will be competing in the tournament with two rounds each day, a morning session and an afternoon session.
 
Attorneys can select which round (or rounds) work best for their schedule. To volunteer,simply click this link and quickly fill out this online application. Or attorneys can send an email offering to volunteer to Alice Craig at alice.craig@ku.edu.
 
The KU Mock Trial Team is nationally ranked and working in partnership with the KU Law School to foster undergraduate students' interest in practicing law. 

Mary Shultz
Division No. 3 Website

The Douglas County District Court Division 3's new website is live. The website includes a Hearings page which posts the hearings for being held in Division 3 that day as well as the next four business days.  In other words, the next business week.  

The Hearings page will update periodically with the goal of updating as frequently throughout the day as is reasonable.
 
Additionally, the site also includes a self-help section with frequently used forms. This section will be updated with additional fillable forms as they become available. 
 
Please take a minute to check out the new site and if you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Vernon Anderson at vanderson@douglascountyks.org.
 
Here’s the link, so you can bookmark it now:  https://www.douglascountyks.org/div3

Mary Shultz
Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

Douglas County District Court offices and the Michael J. Malone Douglas County Law Library will be closed on Thursday, November 23; and Friday, November 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday

Mary Shultz
Proposed Supreme Court Rule 1801

Supreme Court accepting comment on proposed Rule 1801 regarding earned discharge credit for juvenile probationers

 TOPEKA—The Kansas Supreme Court is accepting public comment on proposed Supreme Court Rule 1801 regarding earned discharge credit for juvenile probationers.

Comments may be made by email to publiccomments@kscourts.org until 5 p.m. on November 25, 2017.  The subject line must read Rule 1801.

The proposed rule is available for review on the Kansas judicial branch website at www.kscourts.org under the heading What's New.  

http://www.kscourts.org/rules/Rules_Open_for_Public_Comment/ProposedRule1801.pdf

K.S.A. 38-2398 requires the Supreme Court to establish rules for earned discharge credit for juvenile probationers.  If adopted, the rule would allow juvenile probationers to earn seven days of credit for each full month of substantial compliance with probation.

 

Mary Shultz