Blaise MesaNews Reporter
Blaise Mesa reports on criminal justice and social services for the Kansas News Service. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago where he was one of the most decorated journalists in the history of the college’s newspaper. Mesa served as co-editor-in-chief of the Columbia Chronicle and was that organization's first executive producer. Before his time at the Kansas News Service, he spent a year reporting on local government for the Topeka Capital-Journal during the height of the pandemic.
Mesa’s reporting examines how the criminal justice and foster care system functions in Kansas while showing its impacts on everyday Kansans.
Gov. Laura Kelly created the Division of the Child Advocate after lawmakers failed to do so.
The Department for Children and Families says it works to make sure gay, lesbian and transgender foster children end up in welcoming homes, but nothing in state law requires special consideration.
The state's high court ruled the state's criminal registry rules aren't punitive and that they can be imposed even in crimes committed before the statutes demanding life-long check-ins were imposed.
Kansas prisons were hotbeds of coronavirus infections early in the pandemic, but vaccinations appear to have protected those inmates living in close quarters.