New units required for over-capacity prison population, officials say

? The state prison system in Kansas is over capacity and will require $37 million in additional units within the next several years, officials said today.

There are currently about 9,600 inmates in the system, which is about 80 over capacity, officials with the Kansas Department of Corrections said.

Based on inmate projections, KDC’s director of capital improvements Michael Gaito said the state will need to build two more units for 512 inmates by July 2016 at a cost of $24 million. And the agency said it needs a 128-bed unit for mentally ill inmates at a cost of $13 million by July 2019. All buildings will be added to the El Dorado Correctional Facility.

The plans were discussed during a meeting of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on State Building Construction.