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

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2015

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Sen. Darcy Jech
Sen. Darcy Jech

Great Plains Correctional facility to re-open, expected to bring jobs and economy boost to Hinton area

A bill that would create more than 300 new jobs in the Hinton was signed by the Governor this week, according to State Sen. Darcy Jech.

Senate Bill 116 authorizes private corrections companies to contract with federal agencies for the housing of federal prisoners in facilities owned and operated by the private corrections companies. The legislation allows existing facilities that are currently sitting vacant, like the Great Plains Correctional facility in Hinton, to re-open.

“This is a great opportunity for Hinton and the surrounding area,” said Sen. Jech, R-Kingfisher. “The rural communities in Oklahoma generally depend heavily on industries like agriculture and oil and gas to keep the economy healthy and strong, but by attracting other industries, it will make the state’s good economy even more diverse and robust.”

In 2010, GEO Corrections acquired the Great Plains facility from Cornell Companies. The Great Plains facility is equipped with 1940 beds but has been vacant for more than five years. In December of 2014, GEO was awarded a contract by the federal Bureau of Prisons for 1940 beds at the Great Plains Correctional Facility and prepared to begin accepting inmates on June 1. However, earlier this year, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections interpreted the intent of GEO to reopen to be non-compliant with state law, so at the request of the federal Bureau of Prisons, legislation was drafted to remove DOC oversight between the federal Bureau of Prisons and a private contractor.

“This contract will bring diverse employment opportunities to the state during a time where we’re seeing a cyclical decline in the oil and gas industry,” said Jech. “It’s a huge opportunity for our district and it won’t cost the state any money. It’s a win-win for Oklahoma and the economy.”

The Oklahoma State Chamber estimates the re-opening of the Great Plain facility will bring more than 300 full time jobs with an average salary of over $52,000. Additionally, it’s estimated the 10-year federal contract will pump over $21 million dollars into the local economy.

“I’d like to thank all of the lawmakers who backed this bill, and specifically Sen. Jech, Rep. Echols and Rep. Fisher,” said Hinton mayor, Shelly Newton. “Their support is very much appreciated.”

For more information, contact:
Sen. Jech: 405-521-5545

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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