Officials say state prison in McAlester is understaffed

Thursday, September 16th 2004, 6:16 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ Prison officials are confirming that two more areas of the understaffed Oklahoma State Penitentiary aren't being manned during the day.

OSP Deputy Warden Kameron Harvanek says no one is stationed at the main entrance on the east side of the maximum security prison.

Harvanek tells the McAlester News-Capital and Democrat that other officers and a camera can safely monitor that position.

A staffing shortage has already resulted in the guard tower overlooking the prison's death row being unstaffed during the day.

A correctional officer in the tower near the prison museum operates the electronic gate in front of the prison. And Harvanek says the officer can watch through a television monitor to see who is entering the prison.

The newspaper is also reporting that correctional officers are no longer patrolling the perimeter of the prison during daylight hours.