Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

Transparency in the Criminal Justice System: Reforming the System and Civic Engagement, April 17 2018

April 17, 2018 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm UTC+7

    In today’s information age, transparency has become increasingly in demand throughout various sectors, especially in the law and criminal justice sector. In 2016, Indonesian president Joko Widodo called for an overhaul of Indonesia’s legal system in order to end corruption and improve the rule of law. In the U.S., the most recent effort in terms of criminal justice reform has been tackled head on by states such as Florida, which in March 2018 passed a bill to require all of its counties to release certain data pertaining to jails, policing, prisons, and courts. In April 2018, the State of Kansas also passed a bill on the use of asset forfeiture in criminal investigations, ensuring transparency and information disclosure in its process.

    Despite these efforts, Indonesia’s current rank in the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index for 2017 – 2018 is currently at number 91 out of 113 countries; the U.S. fares better at the 20th rank. According to this index, issues such as ineffective investigations, lengthy and ineffective adjudication processes, ineffective correctional system, discrimination, corruption, and improper government influence affect whether a country has a high or low ranking. Thus, it is imperative to enhance overall transparency in the criminal justice system by reforming the system and enhancing civic engagement to convince civil society to put their trust in law enforcement officials and the system in general.

    In this panel, the U.S. and Indonesian experts on law, justice, and civic engagement will answer questions such as what is the current state of transparency in the U.S. and Indonesia’s criminal justice system? What changes are needed to reform the system and enhance civic engagement in order to establish more transparency in the criminal justice system? Who are the main stakeholders that needed to be engaged to carry out these reforms and how will they be impacted by it? And how can Indonesia and the United States synergize to cultivate a more transparent criminal justice system by reforming the system and enhancing civic engagement?

    The United States-Indonesia Society (USINDO), in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy Jakarta is delighted to host Mr. Michael Kagay, District Attorney for the Third Judicial District of Kansas; Mr. Brian MacHarg, Director of Civic Engagement at Appalachian State University; and Mr. Choky Ramadhan, Chairman, Indonesia Judiciary Monitoring Society (MaPPI FH UI). Please join us for an engaging discussion.

    To register, please kindly RSVP, or email to no later than

    Tuesday, April 17 at 10.00 AM to attend this Open Forum.

    Speakers’ Bio:

    Michael Kagay took office as District Attorney on January 9th, 2017. Prior to being elected District Attorney, he first served in the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney in the Family Law Division where he prosecuted juvenile offenders and protected children in need of care. After being promoted and reassigned to the Adult Felony Division, Mr. Kagay prosecuted a wide range of cases, including homicide, sex offenses, child exploitation and abuse, drug distribution, property offenses, domestic violence, and many other violent crimes. Mr. Kagay was then promoted to Senior Assistant District Attorney and also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General. He is a member of various law enforcement focused boards and organizations. Mr. Kagay completed his undergraduate studies in English from Washburn University in 2005, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the Washburn University School of Law. Mr. Kagay entered law school with the goal of becoming a prosecutor in Shawnee County, and was quickly able to realize that dream. Mr. Kagay is grateful for the opportunity to pursue his passion of protecting the innocent, seeking justice, and being a voice for victims. Mr. Kagay is committed to running an efficient office focused on protecting the citizens and families in his community. Mr. Kagay lives in Topeka with his wife Hannah and their four children and they are proud to call Shawnee County home. In addition to his professional service, Mr. Kagay serves on the Boys and Girls Club of Topeka as well as coaches basketball, football, and soccer with Upward Sports.

    Brian MacHarg is Director of Civic Engagement at Appalachian State University, where he focuses on how civic participation can promote democratic values and facilitate learning. He has led workshops on civic engagement, civic discourse, service-learning, and civic leadership in countries around the world, including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cuba, Ukraine, Rwanda, Taiwan, Dominican Republic, Myanmar, Niger, and Benin. He also has expertise in curriculum development. He earned his PhD from Barry University in Miami where he focused on student motivations for engaging in international service-learning.

    Choky Ramadhan is the Head of Special Unit on Alumni Relations at the Faculty of Law University of Indonesia, where he also teaches criminal procedure, civil procedure law, and anti-corruption courses. He is the Chairman of Indonesia Judiciary Monitoring Society (MaPPI FH UI). Prior to that role, he was the Executive Director of MaPPI in 2012-2017, and has been a researcher there since 2010. He is actively involved in several research on judicial reform and anti-corruption issues, as well as the advocacy of RUU KUHAP, KUHP, anti-criminalization, and judicial reform. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia. In 2014, he obtained his Master of Law from University of Washington, Seattle, as an awardee of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) scholarship.