DOC was authorized to initiate a $10 million bond issue to fund capital improvements at 27 state prisons, community corrections centers and work centers. Facility inspections by the State Fire Marshal had exposed critical safety problems at the facilities. (SB 172)

The Legislature provided an emergency appropriation of $7.2 million to address deficiencies in inmate medical services provided by DOC. Spurred by recent motions by plaintiffs in the Battles lawsuit, consultants hired by DOC suggested the prison medical budget be increased by 31% to meet minimum standards of medical care. (SB 190)

$500,000 was appropriated to continue support for the Drug Court Program. Through DMHSAS, the program provides grants enabling drug courts to offer an alternative to imprisonment for low-risk, drug-dependent offenders. Courts are established in 14 counties and may open in seven more counties during FY'00. The program monitors about 800 offenders and has saved more than $5 million in annual prison costs. (SB 187)

$1.9 million was provided for full-year funding of the 6% pay raise for Correctional Officers approved by the 1998 Legislature. About 2,500 uniformed officers also received the state employee pay raise effective January 1999, increasing the average salary by about 10%. (SB 172)

The Governor vetoed language requiring DOC to operate the state's 15 Community Work Centers at full capacity during FY'00. Inmates at work centers provide low-cost labor for state, county and city projects at a daily cost of $20/inmate. DOC had planned to close some work centers, which would cause the state to spend more than $40/day housing those inmates. (SB 172)

$6.5 million was provided for DOC operating cost growth during FY'00, much of which is related to increased numbers of prison beds needed. Most of the projected growth in the prison system it attributable to policy changes enacted by DOC independent of Legislative action. (SB 172)

DOC FY'00 Projected Bed Growth by Cause

The Legislature provided $39,949 to the Pardon and Parole Board to hire a new investigator to serve the private Lawton Correctional Facility, which will house more than 1,500 inmates during FY'00. (SB 172)


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