Corrections Seeking More Funding For Mentally Ill

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Department of Corrections is asking the Legislature for more money to react to a rapid increase in the number of mentally ill inmates in state prisons.

Secretary of Corrections Ray Roberts told a Senate committee on Tuesday 38 percent of the state's prisoner population is mentally ill, an increase of 126 percent since 2006.

The Wichita Eagle reports ( ) Gov. Sam Brownback proposed budget includes $3 million this year and another $4.1 million to fully fund the state's health care contract with Corizon, which includes mental health care.

Corrections spokesman Jeremy Barclay says the department would hire more clinicians and offer mental health services to more inmates if the funding is approved.