ksal.com
Salina Technical College
Fe for a cure

Brownback to make Announcement at State Prison

Associated Press - August 17, 2017 10:50 am

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

Gov. Sam Brownback is making an announcement about the Department of Corrections at a prison that has seen at least three significant disturbances in recent months.

Lawmakers and the state employees’ union have urged the administration to address chronic staffing shortages and low pay among Kansas corrections workers. The governor’s office has not disclosed what Brownback will say Thursday afternoon at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.

The Department of Corrections has confirmed three inmate disturbances at the El Dorado prison in May and June and a pair of inmate-on-inmate stabbings on July 28. The maximum-security prison is struggling with an annual turnover rate among uniformed officers of 46 percent, and they are sometimes working 16-hours shifts because of staffing shortages.