Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

Kansas considers closing 2 prisons

Shutting down minimum-security facilities may be budget necessity

November 24, 2008


— Impending budget cuts have prompted the Kansas Department of Corrections to consider closing two minimum-security prisons in El Dorado, although no final decision has been made.

“Every aspect of our operation is under review for potential reductions or eliminations in funding” because of state revenue shortfalls, department spokesman Bill Miskell said last week.

The Corrections Department is trying to find ways to cut more than $5 million this fiscal year and more than $13 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“We have in the past discussed the possibility of closing several of those minimum-security satellite units at El Dorado, at Lansing and at Norton in Stockton,” Miskell said.

The department recently said that it is ending contracts for its day reporting centers in Wichita and Topeka and for the women’s camp in Labette County. Inmates at the day reporting centers will remain on parole.

The two minimum-security facilities in El Dorado employ 37 people and any cuts or closings would also cost the town hundreds of volunteer hours from inmates, El Dorado officials said.

The maximum-security unit at El Dorado Correctional Facility, where inmates such as BTK serial killer Dennis Rader are housed, has not been discussed as a closure target.

“This is all budget,” Miskell said. “We have got to go through and review everything we are doing to determine what kinds of cuts we can make that will have a minimum negative impact on public safety and on other aspects of department operation.”

David Alfaro, director of economic development for Butler County, said any cuts to the minimum-security prisons would hurt. Besides providing jobs, the facilities buy supplies from El Dorado and Butler County businesses.

“It would make a big impact on us,” Alfaro said.

The inmates’ volunteer work also would be missed, said Linda Jolly, executive director of El Dorado Inc., a nonprofit economic development organization that works with the city.

One of the units held 93 inmates Thursday and the other unit held 68.


Ragingbear 8 years, 12 months ago

So yet more justification to lock up pot smokers and allow sex offenders out early.

oldvet 8 years, 12 months ago

Outsource the prisoners to Mexico... they would charge us about $2/day/prisoner and still make a profit at that price-point....

yellowhouse 8 years, 12 months ago

two prisoners gazed out beyond the barsOne saw darkness the other saw stars!One saw rain clouds as life passed byThe other saw a rainbow in the same sky!

Kryptenx 8 years, 12 months ago

Yet another reason to decriminalize or legalize pot and tax it.

doddy24 8 years, 11 months ago

I think thats ok if they wanna do that but I don't think Norton should be one of them cause thats where all the child molesters are! And ya maybe if they don't like having to do this they should quit throwing innocent ppl in prison!!!! duh!!!

trinity 8 years, 11 months ago

the norton facility isn't exclusively sex offenders/child molesters...many of these are at larned.ok so, people who work for the state ie probation officers are facing an effed up KPERS system, likely never will see the remainder of the raises that were hard-fought to obtain and were promised, not to mention probably no cola; and now we're talking having more folks turned out of prisons, to be supervised in the community. brilliant.

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