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Oklahoma prisons director announces purchasing freeze

Joe Allbaugh Joe Allbaugh

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has announced a "purchasing freeze" in an effort to cut costs.

DOC Director Joe Allbaugh says the freeze announced Monday is part of an effort to cut nearly $3 million from the department budget as the state faces a revenue shortfall of $34.6 million by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The DOC said the freeze will not affect food, medical supplies, health care treatment and most safety equipment purchases, but could delay maintenance, repairs and some services. The estimated cost savings are not known.

The freeze is the third cost-cutting measure taken by the department in less than three weeks, following a hiring freeze announced Feb. 23 and the cancellation last week of contracts with county jails to hold state inmates.

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