Kansas and seven other states give prisoners access to citizens' Social Security numbers and other personal information despite federal officials' warnings against it, according to a federal audit.
And because of that, the Social Security Administration will propose a law to forbid the practice, the administration’s office of inspector general reported in its recent audit. Two pending federal bills also would make it illegal.
The matter raises issues of how far cash-strapped states should go in trying to train prisoners, reduce recidivism and cut costs.
Bill Miskell, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said prisoners learn skills and save public money by doing data entry for the state, cities, counties, courts and nonprofits. The state has used such programs since 1985, he said.
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