Officials at the Kansas Department of Corrections have recently been working to deal with budget cuts. Some lawmakers voted against the state budget for the current fiscal year specifically because of the cuts to corrections. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, legislators may now try to go back and reverse some of the reductions.
Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts says they have had to deal with a $4 million funding shortfall. He says they had to move money from other areas and cut back on offender programs, and they are still more than $1 million short. Roberts says cuts often have to come out of the services the department offers to help inmates transition back into society and stay out of prison in the future.
“And all of those areas impact public safety. Particularly the offender programs and reentry services have everything to do with recidivism rates,” says Roberts.
A committee report that will be issued later this week will recommend lawmakers restore more than a million dollars in corrections funding for the current year. Governor Sam Brownback completely vetoed next year’s corrections budget because it also contained cuts. That means lawmakers will have to rewrite that part of the state budget.