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Some Jackson County non-violent offenders to get second chance under new diversion program

Jackson County Courthouse
Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 13:28:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — About 60 non-violent offenders in Jackson County will have the chance to start fresh and avoid serving time in jail through a new diversion program called NewStart 2020.

The efforts, which were led by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, will wipe out the felony arrest for chosen people if they complete the program.

“With a criminal justice system slowed by the pandemic, this is a chance for these offenders to move on with a future,” Baker said.

On Monday, the Jackson County Legislature approved $67,000 in COMBAT funding for the program to be used on low-level crimes like drug possession.

The county's COMBAT commission first submitted the plan to the Jackson County Legislature earlier this month.

The new program will run in the community center at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church and treatment providers from Swope Health services will also work with the participants.