Mon March 24, 2008
KC-MO Considers Fate of City Jail
By Sylvia Maria Gross
KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City Missouri City Council has until Thursday to hammer out the coming year's budget. With the slowdown in the national economy, and a recent downgrading of the city's financial status, city council members are preparing to make decisions that will upset people.
The biggest cuts recommended by Mayor Mark Funkhouser are in city hall staff, the zoo, and the municipal jail. Funkhouser called the Municipal Correctional Institution a "debtor's prison" and he said most of the people at any given time were being held because couldn't pay their bonds. The Finance and Audit Committee recommended cutting $600,000 from the jail's budget, and moving towards privatization of the jail, or merging with the county into a regional facility.
KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross paid a visit to the city jail in eastern Kansas City and spoke to Superintendent Nancy Leazer. It's on 200 acres of city land near the Truman Sports Complex.
See a slideshow of pictures taken by Eugenio Taboada during the visit.
Listen to the shorter version of this story that aired during Morning Edition here.