Kansas prisons: A policy, political and ethical crisis with no easy fix

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Opinion

June 14, 2019 - 4:19 PM

Sometimes I wonder how long we will be talking about fixing the problems that Sam Brownback left Kansas. Our latest Brownback heartburn is prisons. The news that Kansas officials are considering sending inmates to a private prison in Arizona has generated understandable controversy.

Bluntly, the Brownback Administration gutted the Kansas prison system, the legislature often enabled him, and Kansas now faces a desperate situation with no easy or cheap solution.

The Kansas press has well documented the problems in Kansas prisons: hundreds of vacant positions for corrections officers, mandatory overtime for overwhelmed and underappreciated employees, overcrowding, conditions that jeopardize prisoner health, and prison riots.

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