Kansas Prisons


A deal to farm out the next new prison in Kansas to a private firm -- one that would replace the outdated facility in Lansing and lease it to the state -- hit a delay Thursday.

Kansas Department of Corrections

Updated on Thursday, Jan. 04 at 3:45 p.m:

Members of the State Finance Council agreed Thursday to delay consideration of a proposal from Gov. Sam Brownback's administration to hire private prison operator CoreCivic Inc.

Original Story:

State officials are set to approve a plan to build a new prison in Lansing, but some people still question how it will be financed. 

Neil Conway, flickr Creative Commons

When Kansans on Medicaid are incarcerated or treated at residential mental health facilities, their Medicaid benefits are terminated. Mental health advocates hope to change that during the upcoming legislative session by pushing for a bill that would instead suspend those benefits.

Kansas Department of Corrections

A private corrections company's CEO is seeking to reassure Kansas lawmakers that a plan they're reviewing for building a new state prison is the most cost-effective option.

A joint committee on budget issues met Wednesday to review a plan for a new prison for 2,400 inmates in Lansing. It would replace the state's oldest and largest prison there.

Michael Coghlan, flickr Creative Commons

A Kansas legislative committee will meet this week to review a plan for building a new state prison in Lansing.

A joint committee on budget issues is scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon for an update from Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood. House Majority Leader Don Hineman says he will wait until after the budget committee's meeting to decide whether he will support the project.

Final approval for the project must come from the governor and legislative leaders by early January.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

A security lapse at the El Dorado Correctional Facility led to a June 24 disturbance during which inmates used makeshift weapons to threaten guards, according to new information provided Wednesday to Kansas lawmakers.

The report, compiled by the prison’s Serious Incident Review Board, said the failure of guards to secure “multiple” doors allowed between 50 and 70 inmates to leave their cells and enter the prison yard where inmates from another cellblock had gathered for their scheduled “evening recreation.”

Peter Taylor / flickr Creative Commons

The Federal Public Defender’s office is asking a judge to hold the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas in contempt after it stopped cooperating with an investigation of attorney-client tapings at a Leavenworth prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s decision was disclosed earlier this week in a report by the special master, Cleveland attorney David R. Cohen, who was appointed by the judge to look into the tapings.


The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas has stopped cooperating with an investigation into the taping of attorney-client meetings and phone calls at the pretrial detention facility in Leavenworth, according to the special master looking into the matter.

The decision by the office is likely to heighten suspicions by criminal defense lawyers that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is concealing information about the tapings from them.

Michael Coghlan, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas legislators expect to consider proposals next year to make it easier for people wrongfully convicted of major crimes to win compensation from the state following the third recent high-profile release of men exonerated after years in prison.


Officers at the El Dorado Correctional Facility will continue working 12-hour shifts for another 90 days under an emergency status declared earlier this year.

The state corrections department says the extended shifts are due to a staffing shortage.

The department says it’s working to hire and train more staff at the prison.

Three inmate-led disturbances were reported in May and June at the El Dorado prison.

Critics have said the unrest was caused in part because the state shifted some inmates from Lansing Correctional Facility to El Dorado.