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Archive for Friday, April 27, 1990

BILL PUTS PRISON PLANS ON HOLD

April 27, 1990

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— A bill passed Thursday by the Kansas House of Representatives would stall for one year plans for private prisons in the state, including one in Tonganoxie.

The bill places a one-year moratorium, at least until July 1991, on the development or construction of private prisons. A $30 million, 440-bed private prison proposed to be built on the northwest corner of Tonganoxie is affected by the bill.

Rep. Joann Flower, R-Oskaloosa, said this morning that the bill was passed because the state is unsure of its liability concerning the prison.

"We have no policy in place, so the state became very concerned," Mrs. Flower said. "The moratorium will give us time to start over and look at it."

State officials are concerned about riots at the prisons and possible financial problems such as bankrupty and who would be responsible in such catastrophes.

The bill passed the house Thursday, 115-8, and now must be considered by the Senate.

The bill also provides that the Legislature and the state Department of Corrections must develop a policy governing the development, financing, construction and operation of a private prison before one could be built.

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