Oklahoma Prisons Facing Employee Shortage
Mike Seals - June 22, 2021 10:07 am
Lawmaker Calls For State of Emergency
TULSA, Oklahoma (News9) – An Oklahoma Lawmaker is pushing for a state of emergency to be declared to address the shortage of corrections officers in the state’s Department of Corrections facilities.
State Representative Justin Humphrey is the one who has initiated the call for a state of emergency because he said someone is going to get hurt if these facilities continue to be widely understaffed. Humphrey said last week he wants this state of emergency to be put in place because he has been working with Oklahoma Correctional professionals to assess the situation and has learned the state’s correctional facilities are 300-400 employees short, which he says will likely cause officers to be injured, more inmate violence, destruction of property at the facilities, and more.
The legislature appropriated 8 million dollars this year with the goal of improving the inmate to officer ratio, but he says that has yet to be accomplished. Humphrey says along with the state of emergency, all current officers need a raise for the larger amount of work they are doing and more people need to be hired immediately.
He is also asking that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections be investigated to find out why and how this mass shortage has happened in the first place.