prisons

Oklahoma News
8:40 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Oklahoma Correctional Officers Concerned About Prison Overcrowding

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Majority of states see rise in costs
4:15 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Prison Health Care Costs Less In Oklahoma

Credit Alex Proimos / Flickr.com

While the vast majority of states in the U.S. have seen prison health care costs climb sharply in recent years, a new national study shows Oklahoma is one of the few states bucking that trend.

A report on state spending on prison health care released Tuesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows Oklahoma is among ten states where the per-inmate spending declined from 2007 to 2011. Oklahoma had the lowest per-inmate cost in the country in 2011 at $2,558, a decline of 17 percent from $3,071 per inmate in 207 spending.

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Corrections Funding
2:18 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Oklahoma Prison Funding Proposal Awaits Governor's Signature For Immediate Implementation

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma House has given final approval to a $13 million supplemental funding measure to help Oklahoma's prison system pay its bills for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The House voted 68-23 for the measure Tuesday and sent it to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk to be signed into law. 

In a separate vote, House members voted 81-8 for an emergency clause that would permit the measure to go into effect as soon as it is signed. The Senate passed the measure last week.

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State Capitol
11:51 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Oklahoma Sheriffs Upset About Loss Of Prisoners

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

Sheriffs from across the state are gathering at the state Capitol to voice concern about the increasing number of state prisoners who are being removed from county jails and processed into the state prison system.

Many of the sheriffs who packed the Senate gallery on Tuesday count on the $27 daily per-prisoner reimbursement from the state to help fund jail operations, like medical and food contracts.

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Corrections
9:34 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Tulsa Halfway House Once Again Getting Oklahoma Inmates

Oklahoma corrections officials are once again sending inmates to the Avalon Center in Tulsa, Okla., two months after removing all state prisoners from the halfway house due to an investigation into organized fighting at the facility.
Credit Avalon Correctional Services

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has begun repopulating a halfway house in Tulsa, about three months after the facility was temporarily shut down because of violations.

About 200 inmates were moved out of the Avalon Correctional Services halfway house in January after a corrections department investigation found "serious infractions" that affected inmate safety.

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Corrections
8:47 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Media Restrictions Continue At Oklahoma Prisons

Credit Jelle Vancoppenolle / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has added new restrictions for members of the media visiting prisons, two weeks after the agency announced a ban on cameras for news media.

The department posted an addendum this week to its media access policies on the agency's website. The new policy requires the department to grant specific authorization in advance for video or audio recording.

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Increasing fines, penalties and prison time
3:57 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Senate Public Safety Committee Tough On Crime

Credit duggar11 / Flickr.com

Despite Oklahoma's high incarceration rates, a Senate committee has approved a half-dozen bills to increase the criminal penalties for various crimes, including the distribution of child pornography, and drug and human trafficking.

With little discussion and no debate, the Senate Public Safety Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved several bills that dramatically increase fines, penalties or prison time for people convicted of certain crimes.

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Prison Guards requested bill
6:11 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Criminals Won't Be Earning Early Credits For Good Behavior

Rep. Scott Biggs
Credit Oklahoma State Legislature

The Oklahoma House has shot down a bill to allow criminals to begin earning credits for good behavior earlier in their sentence after a lawmaker warned that a vote on the bill would be seen as being "soft on crime."

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State Capitol
12:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Senate Targets Oklahoma's High Female Lockup Rate

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan to target Oklahoma's highest-in-the-nation female incarceration rate with a prison diversion pilot program in Tulsa has unanimously passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday for the bill by Republican Sen. Kim David of Porter that targets women convicted of drug or other nonviolent crimes. David says female offenders first must enter a plea of guilty, which a judge can withhold and waive if the woman completes the 12-to-18-month program.

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New DOC Director reviewing policies
6:13 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

No Cameras Or Recording Equipment Allowed In Oklahoma's Prisons

Credit Danny Choo / Flickr.com

Oklahoma's Department of Corrections has temporarily banned news media from bringing cameras or any recording equipment inside its prisons.

The Tulsa World reports that DOC officials notified the newspaper this week that requests to bring photographers inside prisons for two interviews had been denied. They instead said a reporter would be allowed to conduct the interviews, so long as no recording equipment was brought into the facility.

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