Prison staffing shortages raising concerns

Tuesday, May 6th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- State corrections officials are concerned that inmates are taking advantage of staffing shortages at Oklahoma prisons.

Officials are investigating the possibility that outside people were trying to smuggle weapons and wire cutters into at least two Oklahoma prisons.

Escape plots were foiled on Thursday, and an escape attempt over the weekend has prison officials worried.

Bobby Boone, deputy director of the Corrections Department's eastern region, says the fact prisons are short-handed could have something to do with escape attempts.

Officials say inmates at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center near Lexington and the Mack Alford Correctional Center at Stringtown had been plotting to escape.

Officials say the in both attempts the plotters were suspected members of prison gangs.

Two days later, two inmates tried to flee from the Dick Conner Correctional Center at Hominy. Boone says those men were also members of a prison gang.