Kansas governor declares end to El Dorado prison emergency

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Gov. Laura Kelly has declared an end to an emergency at the state's most-crowded prison that had officers there scheduled for 12-hours shifts.

The Department of Corrections said Monday that it expects the El Dorado Correctional Facility to return to a regular schedule of five, eight-hour days a week for officers in early October.

Kelly declared the emergency in February to allow the prison about 30 miles east of Wichita to schedule officers for four, 12-hour shifts a week. The prison houses more than 1,950 inmates.

The department said the number of vacancies among uniformed officers dropped to 50 in late July from 75 in mid-June. It attributed the decline to increased funding for higher wages that boosted starting pay to $18.26 an hour from $15.75.

"I'm very pleased to see the numbers improve. I won't relax until those people have been here a year. At that point, we'll know that they're beginning to understand the work that's involved and the difficulties of this task. Today, I'm very encouraged that we have new staff on board," said Warden Sam Cline, El Dorado Correctional Facility. 

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