March 15, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.
The Douglas County Commission received but didn’t commit to a request from interfaith group Justice Matters to renovate an existing building for use as a mental health crisis intervention center that could be opened this year.
November 1, 2016. KSHB 41.
LAWRENCE, Kan. – While Douglas County considers a $30 million proposal that would expand its jail, a large group of faith leaders are pushing for what they believe is an alternative approach that would dramatically cut down on arrests.
“Put fewer people in jail and provide good mental healthcare for those who need it,” said Joanna Harader, pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence and spokesperson for Justice Matters.
October 26, 2016. Lawrence Journal-World.
Local interfaith coalition Justice Matters released a list of six recommendations Wednesday as part of a report on the county’s criminal justice reform plans, including calls for the immediate establishment of a crisis center and suspension of all funding for the proposed expansion of the Douglas County Jail.
The group’s report argues that the county should explore programs that have proven safe and successful elsewhere before moving forward on the $30 million jail expansion project, said Ben MacConnell, the group’s lead organizer.
October 28, 2016. kcur.org
As communities across Kansas struggle to accommodate an influx of people with mental illness in their criminal justice systems, religious leaders are calling for a new approach in Lawrence.
A group called Justice Matters, which represents 23 congregations, released a report this week called “Restorative Justice at Home.” The report contains several recommendations to beef up Douglas County’s mental health treatment options as an alternative to a proposed expansion of the county jail.