Oklahoma Correctional Officers Concerned About Prison Overcrowding
A group that represents Oklahoma correctional officers says state prisons could end up dangerously understaffed if proposed cost-saving measures take effect.
In a letter to Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton, the Oklahoma Corrections Professionals says it has "grave concerns" about plans to eliminate 12-hour shifts by reducing the number of officers required on security posts.
Oklahoma has struggled to keep its prisons staffed while its inmate population rises. The Tulsa World reports that a 2013 survey showed the state's ratio of correctional officers to offenders was the worst among at least 49 states.
In recent years, DOC turned to 12-hour instead of eight-hour shifts to keep posts filled at several of the state's prisons.
Sean Wallace, the director of OCP, says state correctional officers are worried about safety.