WATCH: A Career Prosecuting Violent Crimes Gives District Attorney Perspective on Drug-Related Offenses

November 2, 2020

For more than a decade, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett prosecuted sex crimes, human trafficking, domestic violence, and elder abuse cases as a deputy district attorney. The experience has changed his perspective on what warrants a lengthy prison sentence.

As district attorney, he has been a vocal proponent of prioritizing prison space for people who commit the most serious offenses and led efforts to expand access to treatment for people in the criminal justice system with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

As Kansas faces a budget crisis and high costs associated with drug crimes and sentences, Bennett is leading efforts to safely improve Kansas’s approach to sentencing, supervision, behavioral health, and reentry as part of the state’s participation in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019- ZB-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

About the Author


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Sheridan Watson
Public Affairs Manager, Communications and External Affairs
Sheridan Watson develops media relations, public affairs, and digital strategies to advance organization-wide initiatives. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she served for more than 10 years as a spokeswoman and communications advisor for three members of Congress. Previously,
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she managed a portfolio of policy issues for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and served in communications roles at the Archdiocese of Washington and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Sheridan earned her ABJ in public relations from the University of Georgia and her MA in legislative affairs from The George Washington University.
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