Joy greets a new prison in KC

prison site

In an unusual twist, city council members on Thursday praised all who helped land a prison in the West Bottoms.

That is because the new state minimum security prison to start this fall is a reuse of the Kansas City Community Release Center, 651 Mulberry St.

That center every morning releases about 400 people on probation or parole who wander downtown.

The release center residents came from all over the western part of the state. Some were sex criminals. The issue flared in 2010, with the arrest of a resident there, Bernard Jackson, known as the Waldo rapist.

Correction department officials say they need the new prison because of space shortage. It will hold offenders nearing the end of their time who are returning to the Kansas City area.

On Thursday, Councilwoman Jan Marcason said a prison where people stay behind bars “would be better for the community, and actually better for the residents.”

The center did not even have computers for detainees to look for jobs, she said.

Area businesses and the Downtown Council supported the change and helped make it happen, she said.

Councilman John Sharp said the center costs the city much money in providing people there with with medical care and emergency services. The new prison will have its own medical unit.


  1. Jewell says:

    I’d like to know why they release these reprobates to simply wander our city streets? Why aren’t they making good use of them & getting them to clean up what they invariably mess up?

  2. Jewell says:

    Oh, so taxpayers are supposed to provide computers for them, too? Let them make their way to the Full Employment Council -if it still exists- or pound the pavement to look for jobs like others who don’t commit crimes have to do.

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