Local officials offer assistance to Department of Corrections

Source: Tulsa Business and Legal News, May 17, 2016

Municipal, county and school officials from Beaver to Broken Bow gathered at the Oklahoma Municipal League offices Monday to discuss the recent action taken by the Department of Corrections to close the 15 work release centers located around the state. … The Department of Corrections has entered into a five year contract with Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison company, for the lease of the Northfolk Correctional Facility in Sayre. According to this agreement, the DOC has agreed to have tax payers foot the bill to pay the California company $37.5 million to lease the facility. … The 15 work release centers will be closed as of July 1, leaving cities and towns without the assistance needed to serve their communities. These centers do not just benefit the community in which they are located, but many municipalities that utilize the work centers throughout the area. …

Related:

Lawmakers discuss holding budget hostage over prison work center closure plan
Source: Barbara Hoberock, Tulsa World, May 11, 2016

Nine lawmakers on Tuesday discussed holding the state budget hostage in an effort to reverse a plan to close 15 prison work centers across the state. … The plan is designed to address overcrowding, provide re-entry training and reduce spending. Lawmakers were upset that they were given little advance notice of the proposal and not consulted on closure of the work centers, which provide cheap inmate labor to cities and towns. … Rep. Scooter Park, R-Devol, said Allbaugh last week was arrogant when members of the Legislature went to the Board of Corrections meeting to express concerns before the unanimous vote for the proposal. …

Oklahoma corrections officials unveil plans for new private prison contract
Source: Graham Lee Brewer, Tulsa World, May 5, 2016

Corrections officials have devised a novel way to ease overcrowding — renting an empty 2,600-bed private prison in Sayre and shuttering the state’s inmate work centers. … The state will present a contract to the board proposing the state rent the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, a private prison owned by Corrections Corporation of America. The 2,400-bed prison was emptied 2012, when the state of California began returning inmates serving out of state in an effort to save money.

Oklahoma agency considers acquiring new prison facility
Source: Associated Press, April 9, 2016

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections have indicated that they will consider acquiring a new facility to accommodate a growing number of inmates. The Board of Corrections on Thursday gave permission to Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe M. Allbaugh to begin the process of purchasing or leasing additional space. Allbaugh tells the Tulsa World that the options under consideration include two empty private facilities owned by the Corrections Corporation of America. He says the department needs to proactively solve its population problem. The department is operating at about 120 percent of capacity. …

Lawmakers Discuss Fallout from Oklahoma Prison Overcrowding
Source: Associated Press, October 22, 2015

Oklahoma lawmakers are discussing an increased use of private prisons and computer technology as ways to grapple with Oklahoma’s continually growing prison population. State prison officials testified Wednesday before members of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee that Oklahoma’s prison population is expected to grow by about 800 inmates by the end of June. Department of Corrections legislative liaison Marilyn Davidson says there currently are more than 28,000 inmates behind the walls of Oklahoma prisons, and state facilities are at about 112 percent of capacity. …