NewsLocal News


KCMO City Council approves commission to explore alternatives to incarceration

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-09 12:16:07-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City needs a new jail, but some city leaders want programs designed to keep people out of trouble and out of jail.

The city doesn't have its own jail now, but they plan to share part of the cost of Jackson County’s newjail.

During Thursday's city council meeting, members approved the creation of a new commission with the mission to present recommendations for solutions to crime.

The commission will include ten members, including a formerly incarcerated person who now works in alternative programs such as the UMKC Clear My Record, Operation Liberation, KC Community Bail Fund and the KC Metropolitan Crime Commission's Second Chance Risk Reduction Center.

Other members will include a representative from the NAACP or Urban League and a member from a social justice organization

“As someone who’s lived here my entire life, I’ve seen personally what the impacts of incarceration do on my community and have on people very close to me," said Amaia Cook, Co-Founder, Decarcerate KC. My own dad was someone who experienced incarceration until he was killed due to gun violence. It’s a heavy topic, but we have to come together to talk about it with solutions that aren’t the status quo”

Among the alternatives to jail time would be education, mental health programs and housing.

The commission has 30 days to present their research to city council.