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Kansas makes plans for major prison expansions

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas Department of Corrections official says it has plans for adding space for 640 inmates at the state's maximum-security prison outside El Dorado by July 2019.

Director of Capital Improvements Michael Gaito discussed the department's plans during Wednesday's meeting of the Legislature's Joint Committee on State Building Construction.

The department is planning two major projects at El Dorado, with a potential total cost of nearly $38 million. Gaito said the plans are driven by projected increases in the state's inmate population and added that the department might back off the projections change.

One project would add two new housing units for 512 inmates by July 2016. The other would add a new mental health unit for 128 inmates by July 2019.