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Kansas governor to form commission for criminal justice reform

Laura Kelly
Posted at 4:08 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 17:08:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said Thursday that in response to increased calls for criminal justice and law enforcement reform, her administration will form a commission to "do a deep dive" into the system.

Members of the newly formed Commission on Racial Equity and Justice will be announced next week, Kelly said at a press briefing Thursday afternoon in Wichita.

She said the committee will focus on criminal justice reform as a whole, rather than strictly at a law enforcement level.

“(T)hat will be the first order of business, to do a deep dive into the system and see where the issues are and what changes need to be made,” Kelly said, adding that those issues could range from training to policies and procedures to accountability.

There have been increased calls for police reform nationwide following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last month.

The governor spoke to the media after touring a facility in Wichita where Spirit AeroSystems, which has announced massive layoffs due to both the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max and the COVID-19 crisis in recent months, has pivoted to manufacturing ventilators for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with Vyaire Medical.

Kelly also said that she will be announcing guidelines either Friday or early next week for the third phase in the state’s recommended reopening plan, though some counties now have set their own reopening guidelines.