Older Kansas inmates who have increased health care needs may be getting a new home.
The Kansas Department of Corrections announced earlier this month that it has allocated nearly $3.9 million for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 to reopen the former Labette Correctional Camp in Oswego.
The facility, which closed in 2009 because of budget cuts, will be a medium-custody prison that can house up to 232 geriatric male inmates, as well as 30 minimum-custody inmates.
Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Jan Lunsford said the facility is slated to open in January 2013 and will employ about 55 corrections workers. In fiscal year 2012, $1.7 million will be used for upgrades to the facility, and $2.2 million is allocated for operations in fiscal year 2013. Lunsford said the facility is needed to keep overcrowding at other Kansas prisons in check and to accommodate the state’s aging prison population.
Since 2000, the percentage of Kansas inmates 50 and older has nearly doubled, from 8.7 percent to 14.9 percent in 2010. That amounts to more than 1,300 Kansas inmates, including 149 inmates older than 65.