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Kansas City looking for new homes for some city inmates

(WSAZ)
Published: Dec. 5, 2019 at 2:55 PM CST
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About 110 Kansas City inmates housed in a rehabilitation center since this summer will be moved to new facilities because the center will lose its insurance in January.

The city has been using Heartland Center for Behavioral Change as a jail since the Jackson County Detention Center stopped taking inmates. Heartland chief executive Kyle Mead told the city in November that the agency’s liability and workers compensation policies will be canceled, effective in January.

The Kansas City Star reported the cancellation letter indicates Heartland’s insurer canceled the liability policy after it became a jail. The center primarily provides substance abuse treatment and was not designed to be a jail.

The city started sending inmates — those arrested, awaiting trial or convicted of municipal charges — to Heartland after its previous arrangement with Jackson County lapsed. Since then, several inmates have escaped from Heartland and at least one died.

Fifty inmates will go back to the Jackson County jail. Vernon County will house 70 inmates, Johnson County will take 45 inmates and six to 10 inmates with drug court charges will enter into rehabilitation programs.

The average cost for each inmate per day is $76.95, an increase over past arrangements.

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