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Douglas County Sheriff

Sheriff

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    Jay Armbrister
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What are your top three priorities and why?

What do you do as an individual to learn and grow within the topic of racial injustice? How do you recondition your own bias against women and people of color?

How will you & your office work with the court system & judges to insure equitable convictions and sentencing for white & black people?

How will you & your office insure inmates at the local jail have access to voter registration/absentee ballots and encourage voting?

Personal Biography Born and raised right here in Lawrence. Parents retired from LMH and Hallmark Cards respectively. I graduated from Baldwin High School in 1994, where I met my future wife two years earlier. Betsy and I have been together since we were 14 and 16 and have two daughters (15&17) and we live on a small hobby farm in southern Douglas County where we raise and process all of our own meat as well as huge gardens for food preservation. I also operate a sawmill and a small wood shop in my spare time.
Campaign Address PO Box 626
Baldwin, KS 66006
Campaign Phone (785) 393-1721
Education Associates Degree from Pittsburg State University
Community/Public Service Member of board for Headquarters Counciling Center and Crimestoppers. Volunteer at Just Food as well as putting on my own classes for people to learn to raise and process their own animals for meat. I am also the president of the Baldwin Golf Assoc., which is a non-profit that operates the Baldwin Sand-green 9-hole course to keep it as it has been since 1950 and open to the public.
Address 1529 N 300 Rd Baldwin, KS 66006
Transparency and accountability: I will be forming the first Citizen’s Review Board and it will have the ability to look at citizen complaints, low level use of force situations, as well as be utilized for ‘best practices’ to make sure we are upholding the standards the community expects from us.

Community resource alliances to reduce incarcerations: I want to work with mental health, domestic violence, drug addiction, homeless/houselessness experts in our community to work towards REAL solutions to get people services to intercept them prior to entering the criminal justice system. I’m for creating an agency/group that is funded through the county to create stability and security to this so we can get the very best people to work with us without the worry of funding.

Continue our tradition of communication and community excellence. The Sheriff’s Office has long held a great relationship with the community and I look to expand if from it’s current standing from good to great.
The very first thing I did was to have a hard look at myself and realizing I DO have a huge amount of privilege based on how I look, where I am from, what I do, etc. I also understood that we ALL have implicit biases in our minds. The key is to never let them guide your words or hands. I have had hours of deep self-reflection about these topics and I have realized in order to best understand them, I need to educate myself on the other perspectives and life experiences of those who are different from me. I am constantly learning other people’s realities that I would never have otherwise known.
Really the only way we can do this is to constantly mine data and analyze that data from our jail to see who is being sentenced, for what, and how long their sentence is. That way we can help to identify any areas that are not equitable for certain people and address it with the courts/DA itself. We can act as a check and balance for the system even though we have little influence on the system itself. We can be the voice for those who have no voice if need be.
Simply because someone is serving time in the county jail, they have not lost their basic right and dignity. I will work to make sure inmates are educated on when the elections are, who is and is not eligible to vote, and make sure they are supplied with resources to help them get their ballots, get them filled out, and returned. This is a no-brainer for me. I’m a little embarrassed we haven’t done more already.