Meeting Scheduled for Kansas Federal Prison Project

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — The Federal Bureau of Prisons will hold a public meeting next week in Leavenworth on a proposal to build a new medium-security correctional facility on the grounds of the existing U.S. penitentiary.

The proposed facility would have 1,100 beds and would become part of a 3,600-inmate correctional complex that includes the penitentiary.

Residents will be allowed to voice their concerns and offer input at the meeting before the environmental impact study for the project’s prospective sites begins.

The proposal is currently going through the 18-to-24-month-long capacity planning and site selection study process. Three sites – one on the west side of the property and two on the east side – are under consideration.

The environmental impact studies of those sites will determine which, if any, is a feasible location for the facility, weighing factors such as topography and aesthetics, as well as financial concerns.

Construction of the facility would create roughly 300 jobs in the area.

The project is listed as next on the BOP’s list of projects but because several steps remain in the planning process, and because Congress must still fund the project, officials said the facility would likely not be operational for several years.