Reprieve for Riddell Boys Ranch
Last week I was betting the Judge Riddell Boys Ranch was toast. The program serves 140 juvenile male offenders at a time, and it costs a million-and-a-half dollars a year to operate. As Sedgwick County looked for ways to fill a budget gap, annual spending on the Ranch became unnecessary, in some people’s minds.
County Commissioner Dave Unruh told me those 140 kids a year might be just as well served by other programs currently dealing with several thousand juvenile offenders in the local system.
But in public budget hearings, the commissioners got more than an earful from the Ranch’s many supporters. And the commission decided to give the Ranch one more year.
But there’s a hook. It’s a state program that has never been funded by the state. If the Kansas Legislature doesn’t come up with the cash next year, the fate of the Judge Riddell Boys Ranch will quite probably be up for debate again.
Think the folks in Topeka will cough up the dough? I have serious doubts.
Our thought for today is from Samuel Butler:
“Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.”