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Candidates from Sedgwick County share thoughts on Criminal Justice

Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 9:45 PM CDT
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House and Senate candidates from Sedgwick County had the chance to share their thoughts at a Criminal Justice forum in Wichita.

Both Democrats and Republicans at Thursday night's event said some things need to change in The Criminal Justice system.

"The changes are gonna have to come incrementally," said 25th Senate District Candidate, Jim Price. "They can't come sweeping in one day. It's gonna take time to go through checks and balances of what we can do to pull things back."

Candidates said they wanted to address mental health problems in prison.

"The prison system in Kansas is the number one caregiver of people who have mental health problems," said Chuck Weber, State Representative for District 85.

"The state has had a lot of cuts under Governor Brownback and has pushed a lot of the community based services into the jails," said 25th Senate District Candidate, Lynn Rogers. "The only place people can get service sometimes is going to jails."

There were other issues candidates wanted to address as well.

"Rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration," said 29th District Senator, Oletha Faust-Goudeau. "I want us to reach those young people before they get into that situation... so definitely with education, jobs."

"I'd like to see more of an advocacy system or a mentoring system once these gentleman or women, who go into the prison system or jail for a short amount of time are followed up with, so they get on the right path," said Price.

"If we can help people before the crimes, that's gonna be a lot cheaper to handle," said Rogers.

"Public safety has to be number one, but we have to go about that in a common sense way," said Weber.