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Legislation #: 200573 Introduction Date: 7/16/2020
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: MAYOR LUCAS AND COUNCILMEMBER ELLINGTON
Title: Directing the development of a policy that would have as its objective the offering of pre-trial diversions to Municipal Court defendants for at least twenty percent of non-violent ordinance violations.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
7/16/2020 Filed by the Clerk's office
7/16/2020 Referred to Special Committee for Legal Review
7/21/2020 Do Pass as a Committee Substitute
7/23/2020 Assigned Third Read Calendar as Substituted
8/6/2020 Passed as Substituted

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200573.pdf Authenticated 71K Authenticated Ordinance
200573 fact sheet.pdf Fact Sheet 86K fact sheet

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR ORDINANCE NO. 200573

 

Directing the development of a policy that would have as its objective the offering of pre-trial diversions to Municipal Court defendants for at least twenty percent of non-violent ordinance violations.

 

WHEREAS, pre-trial diversion programs provide offenders the opportunity to avoid conviction by taking part in a rehabilitative program specific to the citation received; and

 

WHEREAS, municipal violation convictions can lead to disadvantages in housing, education and employment; and

 

WHEREAS, municipal violation convictions can burden indigent individuals with additional legal financial obligations and an individual’s inability to pay for a diversion program should not exclude them from participation in diversion program; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Kansas City has an interest in ensuring the fair and impartial application of justice, and justice is better served by diverting a percentage of non-violent crimes from formal prosecution; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Prosecutor already has discretion to offer diversion as an alternative to conviction; and

 

WHEREAS, Kansas City believes it is important to look for ways to reduce the municipal jail population and offering 20 percent of non-violent citations diversion is a positive move in that direction; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF KANSAS CITY:

Section 1. (1) By September 30, 2020, the City Attorney shall develop and implement a policy that has as its objective the offering of pre-trial diversions to Municipal Court defendants for at least twenty percent of non-violent ordinance violations.

 

(2) The policy shall be subject to appropriations and take into consideration existing City contracts that provide legal services to indigent defendants. Such policy would not apply to violations involving any acts of violence, such as defined by Rule 37 of the Missouri Supreme Court, Municipal Court operating rules, or such as domestic violence, or to any diversions for traffic ordinance violations diversions that would violate state and federal law.

(3) The policy shall have as an objective that indigent defendants comprise at least fifty percent of those defendants that are offered pre-trial diversion and that no indigent defendant be excluded from a diversion program because of the inability to pay.

(4) The City Manager shall, within thirty days of the effective date of this ordinance, produce an estimate of funds that would have been spent for incarceration if diversion is not offered to defendants, including in the estimate a consideration of any amounts of state-mandated court costs not collected due to diversions of traffic ordinance violations, and the amount of such funds shall be considered as part of later appropriations to fund legal services for indigent defendants who are eligible for diversion.

_____________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

______________________________

Alan Holtkamp

Assistant City Attorney