A Pew Charitable Trusts report says the cost of health care for prison inmates in Oklahoma bucked a national trend and fell by 6 percent from 2001 to 2008.
Tuesday's report says Oklahoma spent $3,935 per inmate in 2008 — down from $4,201 in 2001. Researchers used numbers from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and 2008 was the most recent year available.
The Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, the oldest prison in the state, has seen its inmate population fall to less than half of what it was five years ago as officials move hundreds of the state’s most dangerous convicts to private prisons.
The decline has been so steep that some state lawmakers, corrections guards and others wonder if “Big Mac,” as it is called, will become home to only Death Row and the execution chamber, or if the prison will eventually be closed.