Rising prison inmate count collides with budget woes - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Rising prison inmate count collides with budget woes

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- A state Senate subcommittee plans to meet this week to hear testimony from correctional officers about how inadequate staffing affects their ability to protect themselves and the community.

Lawmakers are considering whether to spend any or all of the state's $23-million in surplus revenues this year on addressing a request for $31-million by the Department of Corrections.

Some say even covering the department's immediate needs isn't enough. Democratic Senator Debbe Leftwich says Oklahoma needs to build more facilities or look at sentencing laws in the state.

Corrections Director Ron -J- Ward says the $31-million the department is seeking doesn't even address $100-million in capital expenditures needed to upgrade state prisons.
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