Kansas to move hundreds of inmates to Arizona prison to ease crowding

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Lansing Correctional Facility Lansing Correctional Facility
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Kansas plans to begin moving inmates to a private prison in Arizona by the end of the summer to help relieve crowding in state prisons.

The state Department of Corrections announced Friday that it has signed a contract with Nashville, Tennessee-based CoreCivic. The contract calls for moving up to 360 inmates to CoreCivic's Saguaro Correctional Facility by the end of the year.

Kansas has about 10,000 prison inmates, about 100 more than the listed capacity for its facilities. The department is housing more than 100 inmates in county jails.

(MORE: Kansas governor declares end to El Dorado prison emergency)

The state budget includes $16.4 million to put 600 male inmates in county jails or out-of-state prisons. But legislative leaders have had misgivings about using private prisons and in June blocked $6.6 million of the funding in June over that possibility.

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