MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- The state Board of Corrections has voted to ask lawmakers to let the Corrections Department spend $2.9 million in grant money to go forward with plans for a geriatric prison in Lexington.
The board also voted Thursday to ask the Legislature for an additional $3.9 million in a supplemental appropriation to pay for contract prison beds.
The department would save $2.8 million if it built the 250-bed geriatric prison, board member Randy Wright said.
Allowing the department to build the prison would improve the quality of medical care the department provides inmates, board member David Henneke said.
It also would make beds available in the general population, he said.
"I hope they would look at it seriously," Wright said of the new funding request to lawmakers.
Officials have had ground-breaking ceremonies for the geriatric facility, which is to be located at Joseph Harp Correctional Center. But the plan has suffered recent financial setbacks.
When the DOC sought supplemental funding earlier this year, lawmakers diverted $2.9 million set aside to finance the prison in an effort to reduce the department's need for more money.