JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS (April 18, 2013) — Johnson County is celebrating National County Government Month by inviting the public to learn more about local criminal justice programs and public safety services.
The free event, “Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities,” will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 27, at the Youth and Family Services Center, 920 West Spruce, Olathe.
County entities, including Community Corrections, Sheriff’s Office, Courts Services, and Mental Health’s Regional Prevention Center, will set up displays featuring their contributions to a safer community.
The event features opportunities for individuals and families to:
- Try on electronic monitoring equipment, aka ankle transmitter, used by the House Arrest Program of the Corrections Department to see how it works and what it’s used for;
- Participate as a young juror in Youth Court, a program offered by Court Services, a division of Johnson County District Courts; and,
- Tour the mobile Command Center, sit on a motorcycle, or see the inside a patrol car of the Sheriff’s Office.
“This year’s theme fits naturally with so many County programs and services that are designed to protect our homes and neighborhoods, and to help redirect troubled lives with positive outcomes,” County Manager Hannes Zacharias said. “We try to make the most of any opportunity to tell people about the good things we’re doing to make Johnson County a safe and just place to call home.”
Exhibits at 24 presentation tables will offer information about a wide range of programs, such as:
- Ongoing efforts by the Corrections Department involving both adult and juvenile offenders, including House Arrest, Adult Residential Center, and Intensive Supervision.
- Criminal Justice Advisory Council will highlight two projects – Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Both projects are aimed to form recommendations for safe alternatives to incarceration.
- Strengthening the Families Program designed for high-risk families by offering life skills training in behavior modification and effective parenting techniques by working with both children and parents; and,
- Regional Prevention Center services to help prevent youth substance abuse and other problem behaviors.
- Youth Court, a voluntary alternative, seeking to reduce the number of youth entering the District Court system by providing early intervention to youth who are truant or commit first-time minor offenses.
Working demonstrations are planned, highlighting My Resource Connection, a free service by County Government to connect individuals needing assistance with resources that can help meet their needs, and the Justice Information Management System, or JIMS, a public website to access public documents filed in the District Court system.
Refreshments will be served.
The event comes on the heels of unveiling special artwork through the end of April with a “Smart Justice” theme. The art was created by six artists from Johnson County Developmental Supports. The display is located in the Board of County Commissioners’ Hearing Room on the third floor of the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 South Cherry Street, in downtown Olathe.
For more information about Smart Justice activities and Johnson County Government, visit online at www.jocogov.org or call Nancy Mays, director of Public Affairs and Communications at the County Manager’s Office, at (913) 715-0730 or email at Nancy.Mays@jocogov.org. You can also follow Johnson County on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JohnsonCountyGovernment and on Twitter, @JoCoKsGovt.