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Prison Inmates, Transferred to Jail, Escape

John Milburn and Bill Draper report for AP:

Four inmates escaped early Wednesday from a Kansas jail where they were transferred because of overcrowding at a state prison, and three of the men -- including a convicted murderer -- remained on the loose by late afternoon.
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Lawmakers are considering providing more funding and beds in state prisons. Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed using revenue from state-owned casinos to reopen a prison facility that was closed because of budget restraints in 2009. The Republican also wants to expand contracts with county jails.

The Corrections Department would rather purchase the St. Francis Boys' Home near the prison in Ellsworth to provide 95 additional beds.

"We'd better get that done because, apparently, farming them out doesn't work," Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, a Republican whose district includes the prison, said, adding that he's concerned that budget cuts have gone too far.

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