Mo. prison expansion sought as inmate numbers rise

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing to add more beds at a northeast Missouri prison to accommodate a growing inmate population.

Nixon is asking lawmakers to approve about $280,000 in mid-year spending to remodel the Northeast Correctional Center in Bowling Green.

Budget documents provided to lawmakers say the Department of Corrections is "experiencing a significant shortfall in high-security beds" for male inmates.

The project would relocate the prison unit for male offenders younger than 17 from Bowling Green to the Western Reception and Diagnostic Center in St. Joseph. That space then would be converted into 156 beds for adult men.

A Corrections Department spokeswoman says Missouri does not currently have any young men in the juvenile unit.

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