DOC seeks more money for private prison bed space

Friday, December 10th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOLDENVILLE, Okla. (AP) -- The state Corrections Board has approved a $23 million supplemental appropriations request to pay for private prison beds through the end of the fiscal year. The Corrections Department said the bulk of the $23 million the board agreed Thursday to seek would go for additional contract beds in private prisons, halfway houses and county jails.

Dave Miller, chief of administrative operations, said the department had said at the end of the legislative session that it was under funded by about $18 million on contract beds. "We have continued to experience growth," he said. "That number is actually higher than we anticipated." As of Nov. 29, the department had 5,568 inmates in private prisons.

The supplemental request, which was approved unanimously on Thursday, also includes $3.5 million for health services costs caused by increased use of medications and the cost of referrals for specialty care for inmates. The department has a $401 million budget.