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Prison-system cuts could endanger public safety

Cuts to the state's prison system aren't as bad as lawmakers initially proposed, but they are still deep and could endanger public safety. Jeremy Barclay, spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said the minimum cut to the department would be $5.6 million next fiscal year, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. As a result, KDOC expects to eliminate $2 million for a new community corrections initiative and $1.2 million in community corrections grants, and it will lay off 10 employees who provide programming for inmates preparing for release and another 10 who work in parole operations. The budget also cuts $700,000 for juvenile corrections and $600,000 that would have funded a dozen correctional officer positions, the Capital-Journal reported. "It does make Kansas less safe any time you make cuts to programs that rehabilitate or restrict parole officers," Barclay said.