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KDOC History

by Carol Pitts last modified Feb 02, 2021 03:49 PM

Our roots at KDOC are as old as our State, dating to the 1860’s with the establishment of the Lansing State Penitentiary. And really, our corrections roots are much older, with incarceration as a form of criminal punishment becoming wide-spread in the United States just before the American Revolution, and penal incarceration efforts in England dating to the early 1500’s with prisons in the form of dungeons existing since long before then.

That beginning was followed by different waves of change in the U.S., bringing new mechanisms such as parole, probation and indeterminate sentencing into mainstream penal practice. Equally rooted in our history is the American favor of the concept of reform and rehabilitation of offenders to become law-abiding citizens. This dates to the post-colonial days of our nation.

In more recent history, in 1973 the Kansas Legislature re-codified our purpose, which in part says “… apply this act and acts of which it is amendatory or supplemental liberally to rehabilitate, train, treat, educate and prepare persons convicted of felony in this state for entry or reentry into the social and economic system of the community….” This law remains in effect to this day. In addition, we now benefit from over four decades of scientific research defining the key principles to reducing crime, principles that align with this statutory purpose. 

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