Tags: US State Facts | Voting Rights | incarceration rates | Kansas

Rates of Incarceration in Kansas

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 03:31 AM

The United States has earned its title as the world's leading jailer, with incarceration rates rising sharply over the years. The rise in incarceration rates affects all states in the union, including Kansas.

According to The Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit organization specializing in data collection and research of the country's jails, 57 percent of the nation's incarcerated are staying in state prisons.

In Kansas, there are 10 main correctional facilities and three satellite sites. According to the National Institute of Corrections, the rate of incarceration in Kansas is 328 per 100,000 residents. That's 17 percent lower than the national rate, which is 395 incarcerations per 100,000. That gives Kansas a ranking of 29th out of the 50 states in terms of incarceration rates.

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Despite that low ranking, the state's prison population still exceeds 9,000 people. A Department of Corrections report from 2014 found the state employed 3,500 in these facilities and operates within an overall budget of $333 million.

The number of people in Kansas jails has steadily increased since the late 1970s, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 1978, almost 2,500 people were incarcerated. Ten years later, that number more than doubled. By 2011, there were nearly 10,000 people incarcerated in Kansas jails.

Kansas Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts estimated that the state will add 2,100 new offenders into the corrections system by the end of the decade, The Wichita Eagle reported in July 2013. He said the state's jails are currently running at capacity so he's pushing for innovative strategies to reduce the prison population.

In an article for The Topeka Capital-Journal two months later, Roberts reported policy changes regarding post-release supervision of convicted offenders that could reduce the state's prison population. With this new policy, offenders would be kept in their communities and under the guidance of probation officers, working with courts to reintegrate these people into society. If a convicted offender violates probation, sending him or her to a local jail for a couple days will be "10 times cheaper" than a return to state prison, he said. Other policy changes include rewarding inmates for their work with rehabilitation programs.

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Roberts estimated that these policy changes should reduce the number of people returning to state prisons for technical violations by 100 people each year. He also said this should finally return the state's prison population to a number below its maximum capacity.

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The United States has earned its title as the world's leading jailer, with incarceration rates rising sharply over the years. The rise in incarceration rates affects all states in the union, including Kansas.
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2015-31-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 03:31 AM
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