Lawmakers worried about plan to double-bunk at new Kansas prison

October 01, 2017 - 7:38 pm

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas legislators are debating how much the decision to house more inmates two-to-a-cell has fueled unrest at state prisons in recent months.

Some worry about plans for opening a new state prison with a majority of its cells double-bunked.

Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood told a legislative committee this week that the cells at the new prison to replace the existing one in Lansing would be large enough to hold two inmates. That would include maximum-security prisoners.

The department does not believe greater double-bunking was a factor in multiple disturbances earlier this year at the state's maximum-security prison in El Dorado or a riot early this month at a low-security prison in Norton.

But lawmakers in both parties have noted that the problems came after more inmates were housed two-to-a-cell.

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