Criminal Justice Advisory Council

A man in a suit writes on a notepad with a gavel sitting next to him

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council makes data-driven decisions to address criminal justice in Johnson County. The council works to promote public safety and explore the root causes of criminal behavior, helping to create a better community.

The council was created to support communications and collaboration between justice system officials, advisory bodies, agencies and departments, and community leaders. Members of the council meet regularly to discuss strategies and breakthroughs in the area of criminal justice.

In 2008, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution establishing a Criminal Justice Advisory Council and creating a position of Criminal Justice Coordinator. The first council of its kind established in Kansas, Johnson County has been a leader in applying evidence-based practices to improve public safety. View the council by-laws.

In 2014, Johnson County was named one of eight highly effective justice systems in the United States by the MacArthur Foundation.

What does the council do?

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council has five key areas of emphasis:

  • Address disparities in criminal justice
  • Support community mental health
  • Provide crisis care services
  • Deliver data-driven justice solutions
  • Collaborate with other justice agencies

Members of the council, along with county employees and residents, gather in work groups to complete projects assigned by the council and report back to the council.

2024-26 Goals

The council has set these goals for 2024-26, which will require committees to meet and discuss action steps:

  • Drug Problem: Develop a coordinated response to the Johnson County drug problem
  • Community Trauma: Address community-level trauma, such as economic and social inequities
  • Call Data: Analyze “calls for service” data
  • Cost of Criminal Justice: Understand and address the client’s cost of being involved in the criminal justice system
  • Mental Health Needs: Address the lack of services for incarcerated individuals with mental health needs

The council has also set these 2024-26 goals, which will eventually move into action:

  • Demographic Disparities: Collect demographic data to understand disparities throughout interaction with the criminal justice system
  • Criminalization of Homelessness: Address concern about the criminalization of homelessness

Additionally, the council wants regular updates on the high-awareness goals of opening an adult crisis campus and juvenile restoration center, as well as a family justice center. Another high-awareness goal – a pre-trial workgroup – is already underway.

Council Spotlight

Stepping Up Dashboard

Graphs showing jail bookings for those with mental health needs, highlighted with target percentages in green

The Stepping Up dashboard, a collaboration between the Johnson County Mental Health Center and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, tracks the effectiveness of mental health services provided to incarcerated individuals in Johnson County Jail.

Part of the Stepping Up initiative, the goal of the dashboard is to reduce the prevalence of mental illness within the jail system. It’s also focused on better providing mental health services to incarcerated individuals in need of mental health support.

Data in the dashboard includes:

  • Percent of incarcerated individuals showing signs of mental illness
  • Percent of incarcerated individuals not showing signs of mental illness
  • Average length of incarceration for individuals showing signs of mental illness versus individuals who are not
  • Percent of incarcerated individuals showing signs of mental illness who are connected to care

Veterans Treatment Court

A black man speaks at a podium during Veterans Treatment Court graduation

One in five veterans has symptoms of a mental health disorder or cognitive impairment, often leading to involvement in the criminal justice system.

To help support veterans, Johnson County District Court founded the first veterans treatment court in the state of Kansas in 2016. A year later, the Veterans Treatment Court recognized its first veteran to graduate from the program.

The Veterans Treatment Court's mission is to identify veterans in the criminal justice system and to place eligible service people into treatment and court supervision as an alternative to incarceration. The program includes regular court appearances, mandatory treatment sessions, and testing for drug and alcohol use.

The program lasts 12-18 months and ends with a ceremony for graduates, attended by court and county officials.

Peer Learning Site

Familiar Faces Initiative Logo

In 2022, Johnson County joined three other counties as the inaugural group of Familiar Faces Initiative Peer-Learning Sites.

The initiative, created by the National Association of Counties, spotlights the standout work of these counties regarding their health and justice data systems – used to better support those in need of services.

The Familiar Faces Initiative models how data is used to coordinate care for individuals with health and behavioral health conditions. These individuals are considered “familiar faces” who frequently cycle through jails, homeless shelters, emergency departments and other crisis services.

As a peer learning site, Johnson County will share its innovative approach with the Familiar Faces network through calls, presentations, events and a community message board. It will also host in-person site visits April 12-13, 2023.

Opportunities for Engagement

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council relies on the help of volunteers serving in work groups. If you would like to volunteer or be aware of topics up for discussion, please let us know, and we can add you to our distribution list. Additional, if you’ve been involved in the criminal justice system, we’d love to hear you share your stories and experiences. You can contact Mike Brouwer at or 913-715-0745.

Upcoming Meetings




Nov. 14, 2023 12-5 p.m. County Administration Building, Lower Level Room 201
Jan. 9, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room
March 5, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Administration Building, Lower Level Room 201
May 7, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Administration Building, Lower Level Room 201
June 4, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Administration Building, Lower Level Room 200
Sept. 3, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room
Nov. 12, 2024 3-5 p.m. County Administration Building, Lower Level Room 200

Members of the Council

  • Kristy Baughman, Executive Director of United Community Services
  • Kevin Waring, Chief Court Services Officer
  • Pat Colloton, Community Member/State Government
  • Tim DeWeese, Director of Mental Health
  • Erik Erazo, Executive Director Diversity & Engagement Olathe North High School
  • Alleen VanBebber, League of Women Voters
  • Scott Hurlbert, Director of JIMS
  • Simon Happer, Deputy Chief at Overland Park Police Department
  • Calvin Hayden, Sheriff
  • Steve Howe, District Attorney
  • Lee Jost, Executive Director of Ncircle
  • Rick Kaiser, Community Corrections Advisory Board
  • Mark Keating, Kansas Prisoner Review Board
  • Mike Kelly, Chairman of Board of County Commissioners
  • Michael McCulloch, Chief Public Defender
  • Penny Postoak Ferguson, County Manager
  • Byron Roberson, Chief of Police at Prairie Village Police Department
  • Kelly Ryan, Chair, 10th District Judge
  • Stewart Curtright, Community Leader at Church of the Resurrection Reentry
  • Robert Sullivan, Director of Community Corrections
  • Annabeth Surbaugh, Community Member
  • Steve Tatum, Bar Association Representative
  • Brian Huff, Superintendent of Gardner Edgerton School District 231
  • Vacant, Person with lived experience

About Mike Brouwer, Criminal Justice Coordinator

Headshot of Mike Brouwer

Mike Brouwer has served as criminal justice coordinator for Johnson County Government since 2021.

Brouwer previously served as criminal justice coordinator in Douglas County. Prior to that, he worked for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for seven years, where he assisted with the launch of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Brouwer provides technical assistance for multiple counties in Kansas and nationally. In 2020, he was featured in the National Association of County’s Community Portrait for the Data Driven Justice Initiative. His work has been presented in two White House briefings and one Congressional Hill Hearing.  

During his career, Brouwer served on the steering committee for Johnson County’s Sequential Intercept Project, managed multiple Bureau of Justice Assistance grants, and served on the Governor’s Reentry Policy Council.

Brouwer is an alumnus of the University of Kansas.

Professional Agencies the Council Has Worked With

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Bureau of Justice Assistance
  • Council for State Governments Justice Center
  • Edward W. Burns Institute
  • John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation
  • Crime and Justice Institute
  • Justice Management Institute
  • Pew Charitable Trust
  • National Association of Counties
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • University of Kansas
  • Arnold Ventures
  • University of Illinois-Chicago
  • Notre Dame Lab for Economic Opportunity
  • Carnegie Mellon University Data Science for Social Good


Previous Meeting Minutes