Audit Contradicts Kansas Agency’s New Prison Costs

A legislative audit contradicts information the Kansas Department of Corrections gave lawmakers about the least expensive way to finance a new prison.

The audit released Monday said it would be cheaper for the state to issue bonds to finance the new prison in Lansing to replace the existing prison there. Parts of the prison date to the 1860s.

The department told legislators earlier this year that the cheapest option would be having the company building the prison lease it to the state for up to 40 years.

Lawmakers authorized both.

Auditors said using bonds could cost as little as $178 million over 20 years and a lease-purchase deal would cost $206 million.

Auditors said the department used inconsistent assumptions favoring a lease-purchase deal. The department said it welcomed the review.