The bill would create an exception, under certain conditions, to the general provision that only felons are housed in Department of Corrections' (DOC) facilities. Specifically, the bill would authorize, but not require, the Secretary of Corrections to enter into agreements with local detention facilities and jails to enable temporary housing of local inmates in DOC institutions. The authorized agreements would only enable DOC to house local prisoners when a natural disaster or other emergency makes a local facility unuseable. Juveniles under the age of 16 could not be temporarily placed in DOC facilities under such emergency agreements.
The bill also makes technical amendments to the statute in regard to the names of two DOC facilities.
The bill was requested by DOC. According to the Secretary of Corrections' testimony to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs, the Department has entered into agreements with local jails for emergency housing of DOC inmates as part of the Department's emergency response plan. Under existing law, DOC is not able to enter into reciprocal agreements with local jails because, by statute, the Department can only house felons. The Kansas Sheriffs Association and the Kansas Peace Officers Association presented written testimony in support of the bill.
The Senate Committee amended the bill to clarify that young juvenile offenders could not be temporarily placed in the custody of DOC under the auspices of such an agreement.
The Division of the Budget fiscal note on the bill as introduced states that the bill would have no fiscal impact. The fiscal note states that while DOC might incur greater operating expenses when it houses local prisoners, any agreement probably would provide for reimbursement of those amounts.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.