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Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2000

Officials to address other sites for parole center

October 19, 2000

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— Complaints about the state's plans for a new center where prison parolees would stay has prompted Corrections Department officials to look for other possible Wichita locations, while not ruling out the site identified earlier.

"If there is a more suitable location in the city of Wichita ... we want to know about it, we want to evaluate it," corrections spokesman Bill Miskell said Tuesday. "There is a sense that we have committed to the 21st Street site already, but that is a misperception."

Steve Roberts, president of the Chisholm Creek Neighborhood Assn. which represents residents in the area, said the 21st Street location should not be an option.

Up to 120 parolees released from prison after being convicted of a full range of crimes would be required to stay at the center up to 15 hours a day for three months.

Although they'd be electronically monitored while away, parolees still worry Roberts.

"They have three months to move through the area, finding all the weak points," he said.

Miskell said the center will provide a higher level of supervision than before for those who have violated conditions of parole but do not need to return to prison.

The center, authorized by the Legislature, will reduce the need for more prison beds, Miskell said. It should open in April.

Parolees will not sleep at the center but will report daily and stay there from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. They could leave to attend programs or work at jobs.

Secretary of Corrections Charles Simmons said concerns about the 21st Street location prompted him to continue the site selection process.

City Council member George Rogers, in whose district the 21st Street site is located, said he hadn't decided whether he could support having it there.

"It's a complex problem," Rogers said.

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