What Strategies is Kansas City Using to Promote Justice?

The objective related to municipal court is: Increase effectiveness and efficiency of operations at Municipal Court in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for those served. Below are the strategies from the current Citywide Business Plan that the City is pursuing that relate to this objective. These strategies provide insight into the departments that are involved and the actions that are being taken.

a.       Measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the Municipal Court by utilizing the National Center for State Courts’ (NCSC) court performance measures on clearance rates and time to disposition. (Municipal Court)
b.      Refine the standards and policies of the City’s Drug Court to meet the needs of chronic offenders. (Municipal Court)

Specialty Courts

The Municipal Court operates three problem-solving courts — Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Veteran’s Treatment Court — that focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of qualified participants rather than on punishment. These programs are voluntary, therapeutic in approach, non-adversarial and community-based. The services provided include substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, job training and housing assistance.

Participants must be willing to comply with monitoring and treatment recommendations. They attend court frequently where the judges of the respective Problem-Solving Courts review their progress. The participants receive rewards for success, and are held accountable for not fulfilling their obligations to the court, themselves, their families and society.

Drug Court: Participants with substance abuse disorders receive a minimum of 12 months intense treatment, including 21 to 30 days of inpatient treatment and other services to achieve and maintain recovery.

Mental Health Court: Participants with a qualified mental health diagnoses receive six to 12 months of mental health treatment. They must be realistically treatable within the mental health system and currently engaged in or willing to become engaged in outpatient mental health services.

Veterans’ Treatment Court: This program is a hybrid of the Drug Court and Mental Health Court and serves veterans with identified treatment needs. The program is a minimum of 12 months and works with the Veterans Administration to provide services. Many veterans connect with the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the first time through the Veteran’s Treatment Court.

KCStat Schedule

All Council priorities, including those in the area of Public Safety, are discussed at KCStat Meetings, which are public meetings held at City Hall and moderated by the Mayor and City Manager. Anyone from the public may attend, or follow the discussion via Twitter (#kcstat). Videos of KCStat meetings and meeting documents are archived online and can be accessed at kcmo.gov/kcstat/. A list of past and future KCStat meetings for Public Safety is also available on the page.