KCUR News
2:22 am
Thu January 15, 2009

Kansas City Jail Would Close Under Merger Proposal

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Correctional Institution near the stadium would close and its 130 or so inmates would move to county facilities downtown under a proposal that will go to the mayor and council today.

Under the plan worked out by council members and Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, the city would pay the county to house inmates at its correctional facility at 13th and Cherry and/or in two now unused former downtown jails, one of which was in the upper stories of the courthouse.

Councilwoman Cathy Jolly, who spearheaded negotiations for the city says the plan would keep the needed level of social and mental health services at a time when keeping the city jail open is not practical: "Keeping things status quo are not an option right now. We're in terrible budget constraint times. That building needs a lot of work. I don't know if Mr. Schulte is here, but he said that was going to cost upwards of $5 million."

Jolly and Sanders agree that the city-council jail is an interim plan, and the ultimate answer is a new regional jail. They are negotiating with Clay and Platte Counties about joining that effort. Both insist that one can be built without a tax increase.