Kansas Parks Lose Inmate Labor With Prison Cuts

By: AP
By: AP

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The closing of three rural Kansas correctional facilities to save money is causing state parks to lose inmate labor they've used for years.

Some of the parks have depended on the labor for more than 40 years and lack the budget to hire workers to replace the inmates.

The prisons at Toronto, Osawatomie and Stockton are being closed to save the Kansas Department of Corrections about $900,000 a year. The closings were announced last month. The inmates are being moved to other facilities.

Corrections officials say the parks benefited from more than 81,000 hours of inmate labor last year. They say they realize the closings will have a negative effect.

They say the camps could reopen if the economy improves, but that they expect mandates for more budget cuts in 2010.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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