State Correction director discusses funding, guard shortage

Tuesday, November 15th 2005, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The new director of Oklahoma's prison system says the inability to hire guards because of low pay is creating an odd situation that allows pay raises to keep staffing levels from getting worse.

Department of Corrections director Justin Jones told a state Senate committee Tuesday the plan gives pay raises of about $200 a month to guards at a cost of $15.5-million a year when benefits are included.

But Jones says the agency is still in financial trouble and by the end of February or early March won't be able to pay private prisons for keeping inmates.

Jones was promoted from deputy director to director on October 27th to replace Ron Ward, who resigned.