Kansas corrections officials expect the next prison built by the state to be fully air-conditioned, including the cells for inmates. They view climate control as a way to lessen problems with inmates and to help combat high employee turnover.
Some lawmakers who don’t want to coddle criminals also see a need to make corrections officers less miserable in the summer heat.
Plans to air-condition the new prison in Lansing in the Kansas City area also come as a federal judge is forcing Texas to move hundreds of inmates sensitive to the heat to cooler areas.
The union representing Kansas corrections officers considers the lack of air conditioning in parts of a maximum-security prison in El Dorado, east of Wichita, a contributing factor in inmate unrest there.