Kansas officials say the state prison population Kansas has decreased, but more prison space is needed, says the Lawrence (Ks.) Journal-World.
“That’s a good problem to have,” Corrections Secretary Roger Werholtz said of the prison population of 8,937, the lowest since December 2002.
Officials said the reduction was due to recent laws aimed at providing drug treatment, instead of incarceration, for low-risk offenders who are substance abusers. In addition, courts are sending fewer people to prison. Werholtz said that despite the downward trend, there were certain categories of space that needed to be expanded, specifically cells for medium-security inmates. Under Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ budget proposal, the state would build a $3.5 million, 100-bed housing unit at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility.