WATCH: Facing Budget Shortfall, Kansas Rep. Owens Says Criminal Justice Changes Could Be Solution

November 2, 2020

Like many states, Kansas is facing fiscal challenges as a result of the pandemic, including a $1.4 billion budget shortfall that will affect state agencies across the board during the next fiscal year.

Through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, Kansas Rep. Stephen Owens is helping lead work with other criminal justice stakeholders to improve outcomes for people in Kansas’s criminal justice system, disrupt the cycle of recidivism, and find savings to offset recent fiscal losses.


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 manages public affairs activities and provides communications support for state-based justice reinvestment projects. 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, she managed a portfolio of policy issues for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and served in communications roles at Aetna, 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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