Corrections Concerns Weigh Heavy on State Leaders
State House members hold a committee meeting looking into the problems at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Among those testifying, before the committee, was State Correction's Director Joe Allbaugh.
He told the lawmakers some correction workers Oklahoma are paid poverty wages and that starting prison guards can qualify for Food Stamps.
Allbaugh says the prisons are at capacity and there is again a backlog of inmates at county jails across the state. He says people are being sent to prison faster than they can find room to house them. Allbaugh says that is taking the focus off rehabilitation services. He says the prisons have turned into "warehouses for humans".
Two state questions on the ballot next month will address corrections issues. Being in possession of certain drugs would no longer be considered a felony under SQ 780. State Question 781 would redirect funding used to house such inmates into rehabilitative services.