OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The largest state fine ever levied against a private prison accuses a Hinton facility of failing to meet medical service obligations.


The Oklahoma Department of Corrections fined the Great Plains Correctional Facility $168,750 for not complying with its contract, said Dennis Cunningham, the state's private prison administrator.


In a letter to prison officials, Cunningham wrote that the Corrections Department found in March 1999 that the prison was avoiding issues of inmates' missed medical appointments and care management of chronically ill inmates.


Corrections staff members also found in December that the facility's chronic care register was not "well-organized and much of the information was inaccurate," the letter states. The warden also failed to comply with a request to provide copies of medical treatment waivers, it said.


"The facility has been aware of the Department of Corrections' dissatisfaction with the quality of medical care as evidenced by the correspondence and meetings conducted in an attempt to resolve the very critical situations in health services department," the letter said.


The facility provides bed space for 812 Oklahoma inmates. It is operated by Cornell Corrections and owned by the Hinton Economic Development Authority. Cunningham said the fine will be withheld from the department's payment on the Great Plains contract.