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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2007

Senator Kenneth Corn
Senator Kenneth Corn

Corn Calls for Bipartisan Task Force on Corrections

Sen. Kenneth Corn on Tuesday said he plans to call for the creation of a Joint Task Force on Corrections to address lingering problems with Oklahoma’s jails and prisons.

Oklahoma currently has one of the highest per-capita incarceration rates for both men and women. Additionally, a crumbling infrastructure and understaffing in the Department of Corrections places an even greater strain on Oklahoma’s corrections system, Corn said.

“This is a long-term problem that demands a long-term solution,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “The DOC for years has been dealing with a growing problem of overcrowding and bed shortages while struggling to maintain a sufficient workforce. It’s time for the Legislature to step forward and address this issue with a comprehensive plan.”

Corn added there are concerns about Oklahoma’s private prisons, which are receiving offers to house inmates from other states that are also facing overcrowding issues. Coupled with an Oklahoma prison population that is expected to grow within the coming year, the need for prompt action has become a necessity, Corn added.

Corn said the task force should ultimately propose a plan to ensure that Oklahoma’s corrections system is fully funded, meeting performance requirements, and has adequate bed space. Additional consideration should be given to ensure the state is efficiently utilizing bed space in the appropriate way by examining sentencing issues, Corn said.

“It’s time for us to set our partisan differences aside and finally address this issue with a forward-thinking plan,” Corn said. “We’ve provided supplemental funding and other short-term cures, but without a comprehensive plan, we’re only prolonging a growing crisis. This session, our approach has to be different.”

For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office - (405) 521-5576

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