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  #1  
Old 11-02-2008, 12:00 PM
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Exclamation Lansing Visits Once A Week-Things We Can Do To Get Our 2 Visits Back!

Everyone with a loved one in Lansing Prison please respond. I have some ideas that may get our visits back on Mondays and Fridays. But I need the support of family members, wives, girlfriends, friends. One is to schedule the start of a 3 month long boycott by not purchasing their tokens and buying their food, but only using change to buy drinks out of the vending machines. Another is to start an online petition calling for the secretary of corrections and warden to re-instate the visits.
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2008, 08:48 PM
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The Monday/Friday visits were eliminated allegedly because of budget cuts (most Kansas state agencies have had cuts this year, so it is certainly plausible). Therefore, I doubt a boycott of the food, further cutting into their budget, is going to accomplish the intended purpose. Moreover, the number of people in the Kansas forums here is tiny compared to the number of people who visit, and I don't know how you would ever get the word to the rest of them, much less their support.

The petitiion idea, however, sounds much better. Have you started one?
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:32 PM
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Like you said, "allegedly" because of budget cuts. I fell that if they can spare the four guards it takes for Sat & Sun visits, then they can also for Mon & Fri. Plus they've said time and again, they're making lots of money off the tokens & food. I thought about making flyers to hand out to visitors while I'm there. Right now it's just an idea. In the beginning a lot of people had something to say. The guard seem to be trained to cut us off or throw any BS our way to keep us from speaking. As long as we stay quiet they won't change a thing. Also at first the warden sent out a memo that other prisons had also cut visits. I asked around and this isn't true.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:26 AM
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The governor of Kansas today told state agencies to prepare for a 3% budget cut this fiscal year. For Lansing, that equals more than a million dollars to cut [from an operating budget of around $35.8 million]. There won't be many savings on utilities this year, and we don't want them cutting the prison food service budget any further, so most of those cuts will have to come from staff.

A full weekend day of visitation requires at least 7 officers in Medium, plus I think 5 in Max, plus whatever is needed in Minimum, plus at least one or two "floaters" to cover lunches, etc. You are probably talking 20 people, times 9 hours (7:30-4:30), times probably $20 or better an hour [figuring in benefits, employment taxes, etc.]. A single day of visitation probably costs the facility better than four grand, and there is no way they are clearing that much from the tokens and food sales. Even figuring that Mon/Fri are cheaper, with fewer staff, it's got to be a money-losing proposition. [Plus, isn't that money supposed to go to the Inmate Benefit Fund and not operations?]

Also, I would STRONGLY advise you not to try passing out flyers on the penitentiary grounds; it would probably be a fast way to get yourself escorted off the grounds.

The petition idea I still think has some merit. However, budget cuts are a fact of life in the current climate, and Lansing still has pretty good hours compared to some facilities, even other KDOC places.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:40 PM
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You've made some very good points so I did some research of Lansing's FY 2009 Operating Budget available online. The agency's request for 2009 is $37,301,261 vs. the governor's recommendation of $36,961,905. A difference of $339,356-far from $1 million. The agency's recommendation includes money for several enhancement requests such as $460,560 for the new central inmate banking office and positions in that office, as well as $6,268 for tech equipment. I'm wondering after all these years why is this central office now necessary? They also requested $211,349 for inmate transport vehicle replacement asking for two new vans and one new bus as well as $316,000 for three used school buses, seven used cars for perimeter patrol, inmate transport and staff trips, seven used inmate transfer vans, and one pickup truck for work detail. If staffing has been cut, why are so many cars needed for inmate transport? Just how many inmates are they transporting on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis? This is something that requires adequate staffing. They want an extra $935,818 for "capital outlay". This includes costs for, again, replacement vehicles, replacement radios, replacement phone system, and perimeter fence upgrades-a 742.6% increase from last year or a total of $824,760. The fencing I can understand but I don't understand replacing or upgrading things like the radios and phone system when that has just recently been done. One of the things I can personally attest to is the fact that they had a perfectly good operational metal detector in the max visitation area until they began to tamper with it so it wouldn't pick up on things like medical metals or underwire bras until didn't even pick up on change or keys anymore. They've started doing the same with the new metal detector now. And only the agency itself has decided to cut staffing wages and salaries, while increasing and adding requests for other things like I mentioned above. And now that gas prices have dropped cosiderably utility cost shouldn't differ from last year, if not decrease this year.
Now, as to the vistation days. First I overheard two guard talking one day about what the prison making money off the food sales and having to cut staff because of money, so I may have misunderstood that money does not in fact go towards or for the inmates, as it didn't when they had vending machines. But as I said I may have misunderstood this. I was under the impression that any direct inmate funding came from the soda can collection barrels and art sold by the inmates on occassion. There are several ways this could be compromised. You mentioned the cost of staffing for those days at about $20 per person, times 20 officers, times 9 hours. I figured safely with with benefits and taxes $22/hr. which comes to $3960 a day, which comes to $411,840 a year to pay for staff, which should come first. Far less than the the total amount of money they've requested. There's no point in having equipment they didn't seem to require before, if there's only a minimal amount of staff persons to use it. In addition to that staffing I'm sure isn't only affected by their decrease in wages, but in all reality several corrections officers resign or are terminated for a variety of reasons. Proabably twice as many than of those who apply for corrections and are actually approeved for positions. Anyway if they could just compromise to either giving back one weekday instead of two, Monday or Friday, it would cut that cost in half, to $205,920, nowhere close to $1 million. Or possibly cutting the visitation time from four hours to three allowing visiting on both Saturday and Sunday. In conclusion, I've passed out fliers before at the prison. I've been going there for six years or more and realize I couldn't be very obvious about it, having to pull people aside when I saw them and got the chance. I appreciate the argument that you and the prison are making but there seems to be a lot more to it and your overall guess is most likely accurate-things won't change.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:40 PM
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You make some good points, but I think you are laboring under a misconception about Kansas government budgeting. FY2009 is well underway; it began July 1, 2008 and runs through next June. The agency submitted its request for FY09 back in Sept 2007, the governor made her recommendation that December, and the legislature approved the final appropriation in May 2008. However, Kansas tax revenues are down, so the governor announced in early November a 3% cut from the amount already appropriated to each agency, which does indeed come to over a million dollars for Lansing. Since Lansing qualifies as a public safety agency, I don't know how future budget cuts will affect it, but most Kansas state agencies have been told to expect 8 to 10% cuts for FY2010, which begins this coming July.

Yes, it appears natural gas prices will be roughly similar to last year. I don't know which electric utility serves Lansing; Westar has tentative approval for an 11% hike.

As far as inmate transportation, Lansing and Hutchinson are the two hubs of the KDOC transportation programs, hence all the buses and vans. Even with budget cuts, inmates still have to be moved between facilities, out to work details, back to county jails for court appearances, to medical appointments when necessary, and back to their home counties upon parole. An agency can't replace a worn-out or wrecked vehicle without a specific budgetary authorization; hence you see requests to replace "pickup used for work details with current mileage of nearly 120,000," etc.

One other thing you may not realize is that the visiting rules are different in the different units, but changes affect everybody. I currently have eight-hour weekend visits with my guy, out in medium, so a reduction to three hours isn't anything I want to contemplate, and I'd much rather keep those and give up Fri/Mon.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:35 PM
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So now that I'm even clearer on this..if FY2009 is already underway as you say, the 3% cut, or $1,108,857 is still $710,080 less than the $1,818,937. Therefore budgeting could be a lot smarter. I still believe that staffing and wages should come first-a limited number of officers will eventually cause an even bigger problem in an already corrupt (from both sides) environment concerning safety of guards as well as inmates. So they've already gotten their new equipment, which still hasn't changed anything, especially when you they have guards who follow the rules when they feel like it. Therefore that's all been a big waste of money. But now we know that's money they won't need for 2010. Transportation could be schduled, and since they don't have the staff, it probably will be (though I'm sure a lot of it already is). Inmates who don't have family to pick them up on Fridays are transported. I never disputed they didn't need a detail truck, that's probably the most sensible thing they've requested. At the very least court appearnces and transports to and from other facilities could be scheduled to certain days of the month as well, again if they aren't already, decreasing the need for so many vehicles. Medical transports are another story I realize but even this could be (and as I said probably already is) regulated in some way. And if the warden and the administration don't feel that more officers are needed, because let's face it-this is a prison we're talking about, then maybe they should be driving their own cars for staff trips. The point is before the governor made the extra cut it had long been their own intentions to decrease their staffing. If more cuts are coming then how much more money are they going to waste on things that aren't a necessity vs. stretching who they do have on to their limits? An adequate amount of officers on duty is a necessity no matter how you look at it.

And yes, I do realize that visitation differs from status to status. My husband, not my guy, got his medium status five months ago and is still waiting to be transferred out there. I've been seeing him twice a week for nine years now and it makes a great difference to both of us that that one day a week has been taken away and I know many other women who agree with me. At present I'm speaking of max visitation, medium can go on as they have been for all I care, but eight hour visists or not, it's still a long week from one visit to the next and I'd like to see my husband a little more than that.
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:16 PM
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I'm not really clear on where you are getting some of the numbers you are throwing out, or what exactly they represent. In particular, what's $1,818,937??

The amount actually appropriated for Lansing's facilities operations for FY2009, which began back in July, was $35,838,414 [http://skyways.lib.ks.us/ksleg/KLRD/...LansingCF.pdf]. Three percent of that amount = $1,075,152 to cut. This does not include any capital improvements; the amount appropriated for those was $353,097, but I didn't look up to see which items ended up being approved. Somewhere north of $31 million goes to salaries and wages; the remainder covers everything from utilities through clothing and laundry service to the library. The # of FTEs at Lansing hasn't varied much in a decade: from a low of 696 to a high of 710, it currently stands at 702.

Transports to/from other facilities are scheduled already, as much as possible. Court appearances are harder to schedule, since DOC does not control the courts, and DOC has to pay the county jail to house an inmate who's there for court. If staff drive their own cars on trips, the state is required to reimburse them, so it's an expense whether maintaining vehicles or paying mileage. State budgeting rules are complex; generally agencies cannot shift money easily from capital improvements to operations or vice versa. If they get money to replace two vehicles, they'd better be able to produce the money, the vehicles, or special paperwork from Topeka authorizing a reallocation.

If/when visitation gets changed, it affects max AND medium. We lost Mon/Fri visits, too, so don't get on your high horse about that. I'm glad you live close enough to be able to visit twice a week; please remember that other people are not necessarily in that situation (I only get to visit every other weekend). Giving you back your second day means cutting something else, and I don't want the something else to be my visiting time. I'm not hearing all that many complaints about the cutbacks, in part because I think most of the people I talk to realize that the state is facing its biggest financial crisis in decades, and there are going to be some really unpleasant consequences. If losing a little bit of visiting time is the worst thing that happens, we will all be very very lucky.
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:31 PM
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I'm going to respond to you in a private message.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:47 AM
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I am so glad someone posted this because I have a cousin who is in Lansing and he informed me that his visits were taken away on Mondays and Fridays. He told me it was due to the budget cuts. I hope all of you who have loved ones there will get their visits back. My cousin is getting out in February after doing 14 years. Best wishes to everyone on this situation. Let me know what I can do to help protest anything.
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Old 12-11-2008, 10:09 PM
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The only thing I see wrong with your plan on not using tokens and using machines is you will be helping the facility more. The tokens and the food booths are run by the Jaycees not the facility. The money that comes out of the machines I do believe would be the facility. In another facility the Jaycees offered to pay the wages of the staff to get longer visits back and it was turned down.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:21 PM
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My brother is in lcf i can't believe this! So angry now most of us can't visit him keep me informed what we/ i can do. Thanks!
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