prisons

Oklahoma News
5:07 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Early Release Possible As A Result Of Prison Overcrowding

Credit Wesley Fryer / Flickr.com

Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton plans to meet this week or next with Pardon and Parole Interim Director Jari Askins to discuss the possible early release of certain nonviolent offenders due to prison overcrowding.

The Board of Corrections approved a recalculation of the prison system’s capacity Thursday, showing the state’s facilities are now at 116 percent of capacity.

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Oklahoma News
4:47 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Escaped Inmate Captured In Tulsa

Credit Yumi Kimura / Flickr.com

Police in Tulsa say an escaped Oklahoma state prison inmate has been recaptured following a short chase.

Police told reporters that 24-year-old Christopher Rowe was arrested Wednesday night in north Tulsa after an officer spotted him driving a sport utility vehicle and that he led police on a short chase before being stopped and arrested.

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Oklahoma News
5:00 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Four Inmates Escape Prison In Less Than One Week

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

An Oklahoma prison inmate who walked away from a minimum security facility on New Year's Eve was the fourth inmate to escape from the prison in less than a week.

Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie says 24-year-old Christopher Rowe remained on the loose Tuesday. Massie says officials believe he is in the Tulsa area. The other three inmates who walked away from the John H. Lilley Correctional Center on Dec. 27 were returned to the Okfuskee County facility within a day.

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Oklahoma News
7:35 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Committee Examines County Jail Reimbursements For Those Convicted With Long Term Senctences

Oklahoma County Jail
Credit Oklahoma County

County jails are inadequate holding facilities for those with long-term criminal sentences, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said Wednesday during an interim study.

A report prepared by House staffer Joshua Maxey said the daily required payment by the DOC to the counties is $27 per day plus medical costs for each inmate. 

The total money paid by the DOC in fiscal year 2013, he said, was $26.3 million. The costs covered 1,700 inmates currently awaiting transfer to DOC facilities.

As of this month, there is a backlog of 240 inmates.

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Oklahoma News
7:24 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

DOC Discussing Possible Nursing Home For Aging Prison Population

Credit Tim (Timothy) Pearce / Flickr.com

The Department of Corrections has begun preliminary talks with a nursing home operator concerning the possibility of contracting with a facility to house aging state inmates, the Senate Public Safety Committee was told Tuesday.

Dr. William Cooper, the department’s chief medical officer, said the department was approached by a nursing home operations firm about the possibility of contracting with the department. The discussions are in the very early stages.

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Death Penalty
3:43 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Oklahoma Spends $106K to Renovate Death Chamber

Oklahoma Death Chamber
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma prison officials have spent more than $106,000 renovating the death chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The Department of Corrections is allowing members of the media inside the prison's maximum-security H-unit on Thursday to see the new room.

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Oklahoma News
3:20 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Moore Beheading Suspect Has Assault Record

Alton Nolen's prison photograph
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Updated at 3:10 p.m.

A man police allege beheaded a woman at a Moore food distribution center late Thursday has a lengthy criminal record and a history of assault, according to court records.

At a press conference Friday morning, police spokesman Jeremy Lewis also said suspect Alton Nolen was in the process of being terminated. 

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Oklahoma Watch
7:00 am
Sat August 16, 2014

Most Oklahoma Prisons Are Over Capacity

With the transfer of state inmates from jails, the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown is now 131 percent, or 156 inmates, over capacity.
Atoka County Times

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ effort to shift thousands of state prisoners out of county jails has resulted in nearly two-thirds of state prisons being over capacity.

The Corrections Department is placing many inmates in designated “temporary” beds in various common areas of prisons, such as a gymnasium or day room.

In a related move, the agency is proposing to revise how it determines the maximum capacity of its prisons, by using a higher “operational” capacity that includes temporary beds, on top of the current “rated design capacity” — the number of inmates a facility is designed to hold. Under operational capacity, the current reported percentages of occupancy at many prisons could drop from over to under 100 percent.

The recent inmate population growth is raising concerns from the head of the state correctional officers’ group, who says safety is being compromised because inmates are being added while correctional staffing levels remain inadequate.

“I think it’s absolutely putting them (officers) in a dangerous spot,” said Sean Wallace, director of Oklahoma Correctional Professionals. “I’ve heard it from staff before … but now I’m hearing it directly from officers – they’re afraid to go to work.”

According to the corrections department’s Aug. 4 count of inmates, 16 of the state’s 24 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security prisons were at more than 100 percent capacity. The number slipped to 15 the following week. Five facilities had more than 100 inmates above their official capacity limits.

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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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