DOC asks lawmakers for $850 million to build new prisons - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

DOC asks lawmakers for $850 million to build new prisons

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Department of Corrections is asking for nearly $850 million to build two new prisons and deal with the staff shortage.

The state's prison population is at 108% capacity and expected to grow by 40,000 inmates over the next 10 years.

While the department is overcrowded with inmates, it’s facing a crisis with a shortage of corrections officers. The department is also severely understaffed (nearly 30% understaffed), likely as a result of the lack of pay.

The DOC director Joe Allbaugh admits that hiring is tough because the starting pay for officers is $12.78/hour. The department needs at least 755 new officers to be fully staffed.

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