Attempting To Ease Prison Overcrowding

Thursday, November 1st 2007, 11:49 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State Senator Richard Lerblance says he is proposing a bill for the next legislative session that would add more than 3,800 beds at eight Oklahoma prisons. The Hartshorne Democrat said Thursday his legislation would add 1,568 maximum security beds at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and 608 minimum security beds at Bill Johnson Correctional Center in Alva.

It also would increase bed space at prisons in Hominy, Helena, Granite, Stringtown, Fort Supply and Lexington.

Lerblance says the plan would be funded by a $309 million, 25-year bond issue.

He says the proposal likely will face an uphill fight in the state Legislature but that the state needs to address the issue of prison overcrowding now.

As of September 30th, more than 25,000 inmates were under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections, according to the DOC's web site.