Local Activist To Head New ACLU Office In Wichita
The ACLU of Kansas is opening a new office in Wichita.
Activist Djuan Wash will be the ACLU’s new Smart Justice field organizer. He says his work will be part of a national effort to reform the criminal justice system.
“Part of the Kansas Smart Justice agenda is to expand the use of diversion, reduce sentences for non-violent drug possession, improve re-entry services, and reform civil asset forfeiture laws," he says.
He'll also focus on increasing Sedgwick County’s use of diversion programs as an alternative to felony convictions. The ACLU says Kansas’ prison population quadrupled in less than 40 years, growing from 2300 in 1978 to 9700 in 2014.
Wash says the ACLU's expansion and his grant-funded position were made possible by an increase in support for the organization's work.
"If you look at the activism that exists in Wichita, there are a lot of people that have been able to make a lot of difference here locally," he says. "And if we can galvanize and hone that motivation, we can do a lot to change things in the state.”
The new ACLU office opens Monday at the Garvey Center.
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