Like many in Lawrence, Douglas County, and across Kansas, Cooper feels that our leaders have become too comfortable with an endless cycle of mass incarceration. We are locking up our own at a startling rate. And our leaders have proven unable or unwilling to address the systemic injustices that work to ensure that our jails are constantly filled, most often with our community’s most vulnerable residents. Simply put, the citizens of Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City and the rest of Douglas County need a progressive District Attorney who will use the power of the office both to keep our community safe and keep people out of the jail.

Cooper believes that Douglas County needs comprehensive criminal justice reform. Such reform must start in the District Attorney’s office. As Douglas County DA, he would emphasize mental health treatment and restorative justice, rather than vindictive modes of punishment which have been shown to be both cruel and ineffective. He would work to reduce the county’s jail population and end the failed war on drugs. Finally, he would acknowledge the strong role race plays in our criminal justice system. Systemic racism has led to repeated trauma being inflicted on people of color, not only nationally, but in our local community. Until we have leaders willing to acknowledge this, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.

Cooper’s Solutions

  • Oppose the misguided expansion of the Douglas County Jail.
  • Eliminate all forms of cash bail for those accused of a crime in Douglas County.
  • Bring the promise of restorative justice to the court system and to the community.
  • End the failed war on drugs in Douglas County and treat drug addiction like a public health crisis, not a crime.
  • Treat crime survivors with dignity and respect.
  • Institute a comprehensive program of mental health treatment for those entangled in the criminal justice system.
  • Bring truth, accountability, and transparency to the District Attorney’s Office.

Vote Coop in the Douglas County Democratic Primary on August 4, 2020!

Go to to register to vote or request a mail-in ballot.