Hundreds of Kansas inmates transferring to Arizona prison

Posted: Updated:
TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Due to overcrowding, the state of Kansas is sending hundreds of inmates to a private facility in Arizona.
Kansas has about 10,000 prison inmates. 
That's about 100 more than the listed operating capacity for its facilities. 

About 360 prisoners will be living far away from Kansas by the end of the year.

The Kansas department of corrections is identifying inmates to transfer to Arizona.

"We'll prioritize maximum security level. We'll look at do they get visitation on a regular basis, we'll look at any programming they've involved in, we'll look at do they get visitation on a regular basis so we'll try to prioritize those who aren't getting visited by family members, we'll look at the length of sentence they have left, as well as their medical history," says Randy Bowman.

Randy Bowman is the spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections. He says while it's costing the state more to transfer the inmates, the expense will not affect taxpayers.

"The legislation has appropriated a little over 5.4 million directly to us and then the finance council released a little over 4.3 million so that totals about 9.8 million that we anticipate on using this year," says Bowman.

Overcrowding in Kansas prisons seems to be a trend on the rise, not going away any time soon.

"If you look at the sentencing projections of the Kansas sentencing commission last years report has the population by 2028 exceeding 12 thousand inmates. Unless there are some policy decisions or construction decisions in the future, this is what we're left with."

Some states around the country have begun to modify sentencing laws to turn the tide on  this increasing problem, and that's something Kansas is also considering.

Kansas passed legislation last session to begin looking at policy on criminal justice. It's all in an effort to reduce overcrowding.

Transfers to the Arizona prison will start by the end of the summer. 

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Photographer captures powerful moment as storms roll in

    Photographer captures powerful moment as storms roll in

    A Wichita photographer’s pictures of a couple are getting attention and reaction from thousands, after it was taken moments before Wednesday night’s storms. 

    A Wichita photographer’s pictures of a couple are getting attention and reaction from thousands, after it was taken moments before Wednesday night’s storms. 

  • Photo of 8-year-old boy reaching out a hand goes viral

    Photo of 8-year-old boy reaching out a hand goes viral

    A first day of school picture is going viral, in a really good way. Two elementary school boys began the new school year with a lesson in kindness. 

    A first day of school picture is going viral, in a really good way. Two elementary school boys began the new school year with a lesson in kindness. 

  • Former Wichita State pitcher excited for new team coming to town

    Former Wichita State pitcher excited for new team coming to town

    Former Wichita State pitcher Brian Flynn may play for the Omaha Storm Chasers right now, but that doesn't mean he wasn't excited about his college town getting a big league baseball team. “I’m really excited to see what the stadium and everything looks like there," flynn said. "It’s a baseball town.” If there's anyone that knows what a baseball town is, it would be Brian Flynn. “Coming in after, you know they had the couple super region...

    Former Wichita State pitcher Brian Flynn may play for the Omaha Storm Chasers right now, but that doesn't mean he wasn't excited about his college town getting a big league baseball team. “I’m really excited to see what the stadium and everything looks like there," flynn said. "It’s a baseball town.” If there's anyone that knows what a baseball town is, it would be Brian Flynn. “Coming in after, you know they had the couple super region...

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE