Kansas wants private prison company to build new facility

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas plans to have the most important personal jail firm within the U.S. construct a alternative for the state’s oldest and largest correctional facility and pay for the venture by leasing the brand new jail from the agency for 20 years.

The state Division of Corrections introduced Thursday that it chosen CoreCivic Inc., based mostly in Nashville, Tennessee, as its contractor for the brand new jail for two,four hundred inmates in Lansing within the Kansas Metropolis space. Elements of the prevailing jail date to the 1860s, and corrections officers contend a contemporary facility can be safer whereas working with forty six % fewer staff.

CoreCivic, previously Corrections Company of American, owns, controls or manages greater than eighty amenities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. It has been the topic of lawsuits and important audits in six states, together with Kansas. The agency would solely oversee development, hiring native subcontractors, and deal with repairs and maintenance, Kansas officers stated.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration contends a lease-buy deal is probably the most value-efficient strategy to construct a brand new jail, even after a state audit in July questioned that evaluation. Two legislative committees nonetheless should evaluation the plan, and legislative leaders and Brownback should formally log off subsequent month for the 2-yr, $one hundred seventy million venture to maneuver ahead.


“Trendy jail designs are safer and extra environment friendly,” the division stated in a presentation Wednesday for one of many legislative committees, including that abandoning previous-type tiers of cells in lengthy rows will give officers “higher views of inmate actions.”

Two different corporations expressed an curiosity within the venture, although solely one in every of them, GEO Group of Boca Raton, Florida, submitted a bid.

CoreCivic’s bid was considerably decrease: An annual cost beginning at $15 million and totaling $294 million over 20 years, with no additional cost when the lease ends. Neither CoreCivic nor GEO Group expressed curiosity within the undertaking if the state financed it with its personal bonds, however the debt restrict was set at $one hundred fifty five million, and the division stated projected prices rose.

CoreCivic described itself in its final annual report as a “versatile and reliable companion” for native, state and federal governments. Its amenities have roughly ninety,000 beds — virtually 9 occasions the dimensions of Kansas’ jail system — and it reported revenues of $1.eighty five billion for 2016.

“Our staff are pushed…

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