The U.S. marshal for Kansas says a change is needed in the law when it comes to prosecuting inmates for assaulting employees at a privately run prison in Leavenworth.

The U.S. marshal for Kansas says a change is needed in the law when it comes to prosecuting inmates for assaulting employees at a privately run prison in Leavenworth.

U.S. Marshal Ronald Miller said inmates who assault or batter employees at the CoreCivic Leavenworth Detention Center can be charged. But they do not face the same penalties as people who are accused of attacking law enforcement officers or state correctional officers.

Miller said employees of the Leavenworth Detention Center are not considered law enforcement officers. But he said they should be protected under the law in the same way as law enforcement officers.

Miller argued the Kansas Legislature needs to make a change in state law.

“I doubt there would be much resistance to that,” he said.

His comments came Thursday during a community relations luncheon at the CoreCivic Leavenworth Detention Center.

The U.S. Marshals Service contracts with CoreCivic to house federal inmates who are awaiting trial at the Leavenworth Detention Center.

County Attorney Todd Thompson, who is the chief prosecutor for Leavenworth County, also attended the luncheon.

Thompson said he has been involved in previous efforts to change the law as advocated by Miller. But Thompson said the issue has never gained traction among lawmakers.

State Sen. Kevin Braun, who also attended Thursday’s luncheon, said he can propose and promote such a bill in the Kansas Legislature. He said it would be helpful to look at similar laws that already are in place in other states.

“You want to find the one that best fits this,” he said.

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