A plan to offer some state prison space to counties is ready to move ahead despite the concern of a state legislator. Department of Corrections Director “Kip” Kautzky is offering 200 prison beds that would normally be used to seperate problem prisoners from the general population. Kautzky says the state doesn’t need the space, but does need the money renting the beds would bring in.He is hoping to raise one-point-two million dollars by charging the counties to use the space. Kautzky says if the counties aren’t interested, there are others willing to use the space.Kautzky says the move would help deal with overcrowding problems like the one in Marion County that’s led to prisoners being kept in the courthouse.Kautzky says the state could begin taking county prisoners by February 1st.State Representative Teresa Garman, a republican from Ames, tried unsuccessfully to block the plan in the subcommittee that funds the corrections department. Garman says some sheriffs have told her they think the state ought to use the space to hold state prisoners that’re being held in county jails. Kautzky says the state has offered to take state parole violators that are in county prisons as part of the program.
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