In an effort to address the Kansas prison crisis over $30 million to improve the safety, compensation and conditions in the Department of Corrections has been allocated through a Governor’s Budget Amendment.
According to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s Office, on February 12th she declared an emergency in the El Dorado Correctional Facility due to serious staffing shortages. The administration has been working since then to put together a comprehensive plan to address these issues. Additional funding will provide a pay increase of correction officers, funds to ease prison capacity, buy new stab vests for officers, and increase funding to treat Hepatitis C.
“When I took office in January, we found that numerous agencies were facing challenges far worse than we thought, especially the Department of Corrections,” Kelly said. “Our prisons were overcrowded, understaffed and in crisis. I’ve added significantly more funding to start addressing these issues immediately. Corrections officers and staff have stood strong on the front lines in this crisis, but we must give them the support and compensation they deserve,” said Kelly. “I want to thank the employees for their hard work and commitment to public safety through this challenging time. Help is on the way.”
The Governor also adjusted the human service caseloads based on the consensus caseload estimates for FY 2019 and 2020 in the Department for Children and Families, Department for Aging and Disability Services, and the Department of Health and Environment.
Also included in the Governor Budget Amendments were enhancements to the Office of Information Technology Services for modernization, additional funding for the Board of Indigents’ Defense Services, a transfer of funds to settle litigation with the Insurance Department, funds to cover a revenue shortfall at the Osawatomie State Hospital, repayment for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Bonus, correction to the KPERS-School Employer Contribution, additional funding for disasters and other funding adjustments.