Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2008
Sen. Mike Schulz
Senate Approves Measure to Reduce Minimum
Age for Correctional Officers/Guards
The State Senate on Monday approved legislation
that would reduce the minimum age for correctional officers and
guards from 21 to 20.
Requested by the Department of Corrections, SB 1468 is intended
to broaden the pool of eligible candidates for employment in corrections
facilities and assist an agency experiencing a significant labor
Schulz, author of the measure, said the Legislature needs to
take swift action in addressing the labor shortage, and work toward
a comprehensive plan to deal with the many issues currently faced
by the agency.
“It was important for us to pass this bill as quickly as
possible because our corrections employees need relief,” said
Schulz, R-Altus. “With facilities already burdened by overcrowding,
a lack of guards and officers presents a dangerous security risk.
This bill is an important step toward remedying the problem.”
Schulz pointed to the state’s high incarceration rates in
reference to the need for adequately staffed facilities. Oklahoma’s
incarceration rates have been among the highest in the nation and
the state currently leads the nation in per capita imprisonment
“Each passing year this employment trend continues, it becomes
significantly more dangerous not only for our corrections employees
but for the public as a whole,” Schulz said. “I’m
pleased we were able to approve this bill and hope it enjoys the
same broad bi-partisan support in the House as it has in the Senate.”
The measure will now advance to the House for consideration.
For more information contact:
Senator Schulz's Office: (405) 521-5612