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Kansas Plan Would Halve Staffing at New Lansing Prison

Associated Press - February 9, 2017 12:33 pm

The Kansas Department of Corrections is telling legislators it could cut staffing at its largest prison by having a private company build a new facility and lease it to the state.

Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood said in a presentation for a Wednesday meeting of a House budget subcommittee that the Lansing prison’s staffing could drop to 392 employees from the current 686.His presentation projected annual staffing costs would drop to less than $21 million from nearly $35 million.

Norwood announced last week that the department will seek proposals from private companies to build a new prison. The state would mothball but preserve the oldest parts of the prison that date to the 1860s but tear down the rest.

The department has described a lease-purchase deal as one possible option.