Monday, June 25, 2018

Now that Oklahoma leads the nation in sending men and women to prison, our state’s elected leaders must take action Last session, Gov. Mary Fallin and state lawmakers wisely passed seven bills addressing criminal justice reform. This will help — eventually. Yet even with the new reforms, the state’s prison population will grow by 2,367 inmates by 2026. As of June 18, we have 2,065 temporary beds. Those beds are packed into living spaces, common areas and other locations in our facilities that aren’t meant to be places where people sleep. Meanwhile, 1,166 inmates sentenced to Oklahoma Department of Corrections are in county jails waiting on a bed in our system. All told, that’s 5,598 individuals — more than enough to fill two prisons. This is a solvable problem.
• First, we must make room for those criminals mandated to serve prison time.
Two new prisons must be built, and time is of the essence. Without these new facilities, federal intervention is a real possibility.
• Second, we must invest in treatment of mental illness and drug addiction.
Lack of access to treatment puts more people in prison when timely access could eliminate contact with law enforcement altogether, saving taxpayers’ money.
• Third, increased investment in inmate education and job training.
Ninety-one percent of our inmates will be released. Yet less than a third of them have access to the programs, educational services and trade skill training that will help them avoid coming back to prison — as more than 26 percent of them do  Experts have warned Oklahoma policymakers for years of our criminal justice system’s impending disaster. The time to act is now.
[source: Tulsa World.]

Prison budget facts

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections budget requested a $1.53 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, more than $1 billion more than it received the previous year.
When the Legislature adjourned, the final appropriation to the agency was $517.2 million, a 7.13 percent increase, but nearly a billion below what the agency says it needs.
Here are some key parts of the DOC budget request:
Two new medium-security prisons: $813 million
Immediate facility needs: $107.1 million
Inmate health care: $88.5 million
5 percent staff salary increase: $10.1 million
Information technology: $6.6 million
Source: SB1600, Oklahoma Department of Corrections 

Top incarceration rates (inmates per 100,000 population)

1. Oklahoma — 1,079
2. Louisiana — 1,052
3. Mississippi — 1,039
4. Georgia — 970
5. Alabama — 946
U.S. average: 698

Monday, June 18, 2018

So proud of the FIRST graduating class, of the Prison Cosmetology School
at Mabel Bassett CC, Mcloud, Oklahoma.
Thanks to the Rise Program Inc and Christie Luther for having the vision to start this school and the dedication to help these women succeed.
So proud.....they paved the way for all the other women who will follow.