Staffing shortages, violence plague Oklahoma prisons

The Associated Press - September 24, 2022 8:08 am

The Davis Correctional Facility, a private prison in Holdenville, Oklahoma, operated by Tennessee-based CoreCivic, is shown on Sept. 20, 2022. The 1,700-bed men’s prison where a correctional officer was fatally stabbed this summer has struggled to hire and retain staff and was operating at about 70% of its contractually obligated staffing level, according to a 2021 audit of the facility. (AP Photo/Sean Murphy)

HOLDENVILLE, Okla. (AP) — With one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, Oklahoma has struggled for decades to properly staff its prisons. A private prison in rural east-central Oklahoma where a correctional officer was fatally stabbed by an inmate this summer is no exception.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville has been plagued with staffing shortages and prison violence. In addition to the killing of 61-year-old guard Alan Hershberger, three inmates have also been killed at the prison so far this year.

A 2021 audit of the prison shows it was operating at about 70% of its contractually obligated staffing level.


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