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Kansas Department of Corrections Signs Contract for Out-of-state Prison Beds

by Cheryl Cadue last modified Nov 06, 2019 04:13 PM
The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) announced today that it has entered into a contract to send Kansas inmates to a private prison in Arizona. The Department anticipates sending up to 360 inmates by the end of the year.


For Immediate Release

August 9, 2019

Contact
Randy Bowman, Executive Director of Public Affairs
785-296-5656
Randall.Bowman@ks.gov 

Kansas Department of Corrections Signs Contract for Out-of-state Prison Beds 

The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) announced today that it has entered into a contract to send Kansas inmates to a private prison in Arizona. The Department anticipates sending up to 360 inmates by the end of the year. A total of 600 inmates could be sent under terms of the one-year contract with two additional one-year renewal options. 

The agreement with Nashville-based CoreCivic, which will provide some relief to the overcapacity challenges in Kansas prisons, will move in phases to the Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz. Moving in groups of up to 120 inmates at a time, the first group will move by the end of the summer with the final group moving by the end of December 2019. 

“Sending Kansas inmates to another state is an option we wish we could avoid,” Acting Secretary Jeff Zmuda said. “Entering into this contract to accommodate growth in the prison population is the best option available at this time for the safety of our staff and inmates.” 

On August 8, 2019, the KDOC had an inmate population of 9,088 male and 914 female offenders, which is projected to increase and already exceeds capacity by 75 for males and seven for females. 

The contract provides for an on-site monitor who reports directly to KDOC and has unfettered access to the facility for the purpose of ensuring that the conditions are appropriate and up to Kansas standards. Additionally, it guarantees that KDOC officials can visit and inspect the facility at any time, no questions asked. 

CoreCivic will provide transportation to and from the Arizona facility for medium- and maximum- custody inmates while providing that inmates live under healthy, sanitary and safe conditions in the facility. They will also provide for training, treatment, recreational and educational services for these inmates to meet the standard of services they would receive in Kansas facilities. CoreCivic will also provide, with no cost to inmates, video visitation services. These visitations will serve both to keep inmates connected to their families in Kansas, and to connect them with re-entry services and any hearings they may be eligible for. The cost is $74.76 per inmate per day. 

Governor Laura Kelly and the KDOC had asked the 2019 Kansas Legislature for the resources to provide this additional capacity, recognizing that additional options also will be necessary to address the capacity challenges in Kansas. 

This spring, the KDOC also reached out to the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association for potential bed space. Three county jails responded that their facilities could provide approximately 30 males and 13 female beds. The Governor also signed into law House Bill 2290, which includes the creation of the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission. The Commission will review the criminal justice system and is scheduled to submit an interim report to the Legislature on or before December 1, 2019, and a final report with recommendations a year later. 

A copy of the contract will be available from the Kansas Department of Administration, Office of Facilities and Procurement Management, on August 10, 2019 at http://da.ks.gov/purch/Contracts/.

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