OK (KSWO)- We're hearing from Oklahoma lawmakers after Department of Corrections officials laid out a presentation stating that Oklahoma's prisons are underfunded, understaffed, and overcrowded.
The state's DOC director said during a presentation yesterday that Oklahoma ranks second in the total number of inmates and first in number of female inmates. He added that our prisons are at 146-percent capacity including the number of temporary beds and inmates waiting for cells.
The only state lawmaker to attend yesterday's presentation says the state needs to do better after three quarters of criminal justice reforms failed to pass during the last legislative session.
"I'm going to demand that our leadership do better. I'm not going to tolerate it any more. I'm not going to sit back and be quiet. I'm going to demand we do better and get these bills out," said Rep. Bobby Cleveland.
In a statement, Representative Josh Cockroft of Wannette said it would be best to take slow, measured steps to address criminal reform in the state.
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma's prison system director has told the state's prisons board that Oklahoma's prisons are in trouble.
Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh says the system suffers from aging, low staffing, skyrocketing medical costs for aging inmates and no budget increases in the face of growing inmate populations and decreasing paroles.
He told the Board of Corrections on Tuesday the day approaches when the system will "be incapable of taking more prisoners."
The prisons are operating at 109 percent of capacity. If inmates in contract facilities were moved to state prisons, the system would be at 146 percent of capacity.
State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, who chairs the House Public Safety Committee, attended the meeting. The Slaughterville Republican said the state is lucky it hasn't had a major prison riot.