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Prison chief says 10 percent budget cut would hurt public safety


A 10 percent budget cut to the state prison system, which is already overcrowded and seeing an increase in gang violence, would be a threat to public safety, Kansas Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts said today.

"We could not take a 10 percent cut without it having real serious impacts on public safety," Roberts told a legislative committee.

Roberts said he complied with a directive from Gov. Sam Brownback's budget office to submit a spending proposal for the next fiscal year that includes a 10 percent budget cut.

Brownback's Budget Director Steve Anderson said he issued the directive to state agencies to provide a contingency plan for any unforeseen financial emergency in the future.

Roberts noted that Brownback has indicated in public statements that he wants to protect education, Medicaid and public safety funding.

Roberts said if the prison system had to cut 10 percent, the funding would be pulled from parole and community corrections programs.

"We can't take cuts in our facilities in terms of staff," he said.

The state prison system houses 9,540 inmates, which is 264 over capacity.

Roberts said about 10 percent of inmates belong to gangs, adding that there has been an increase of violence, especially among Hispanic gangs.

"The sky's not falling," he said, but added, "One show of disrespect in the yard and you can have a gang situation just like that."


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 6 months ago

Next up... the prison systems request for increased funding.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

Why not do that? Because if you let people out you can't complain and complain until the state gives you more of our money, and even more money again next year.

Jean1183 5 years, 6 months ago

Pull the corrections officers out of the yard and let them fight it out. Result: fewer inmates, problem solved.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, then comes the 8th amendment lawsuit, which the sate would lose.

We went through the issue of poor prison conditions [including under staffing and over crowding] in the 70's and 80's. The state was ordered to upgrade by Federal Judge Richard Rogers, and it was not cheap.

question4u 5 years, 6 months ago

Bread was 16 cents a loaf in 1952, but now you can't buy a loaf for five times that much. That's no mystery in other parts of the country, but in Kansas it seems to have people scratching their heads. After all, today's loaf of bread is just like the 1952 loaf of bread. Shouldn't the price be the same?

Now, if the loaf of bread were produced by the government, then all those confused Kansans would breathe a collective sigh of relief. No more mystery. It would be obvious that the higher price is due to greed on the part of people who want to take away your money.

But the price of that loaf of bread on the grocery shelf? Well, that's a Kansas mystery as big as the fate of Amelia Earhart.

nut_case 5 years, 6 months ago

Your initial statement seems to be false. 5x16 = 80, yet here is bread .69 per loaf:

Topeka HyVee ‏@topekahyvee

.69 cent sandwich bread on sale NOW. This deal is for everyone and once it's gone.... it's gone. http://fb.me/1zti8UFod

It's probably cheaper than that if you can find a day-old bread outlet and/or buy in bulk and/or ...gulp...have a work detail at the prison make their own bread from bulk ingredients. But then that would be A) work and B) teach a skill which could be used on re-entering society.

Katara 5 years, 6 months ago

So how long before Brownback and his cronies start the process toward making the KS prison system run by private businesses?

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

I think it is already partially privatized.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 6 months ago

There are portions that are privatized. Health care, food service, and whatever programs are left are on contract.

If you want to see a nightmare of a poorly run prison, take a look at the private prisons in Texas.

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