Corrections Cuts

Oklahoma City, OK – OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has reduced its staff by 59 as it struggles to deal with the effects of the state's $729 million budget shortfall.

Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie said Friday that even though the agency is slated to receive a supplemental appropriation from the Legislature, officials still had to fill an $11 million gap after being told to trim their budgets by 10 percent for the rest of the fiscal year.

Massie says DOC Director Justin Jones told the Oklahoma Board of Corrections that 39 of the affected workers accepted early retirement buyouts. He says no corrections officers were included in the cuts.

Massie says the agency received a $503 million appropriation for the fiscal year, but the cuts mean officials will have about $48 million less to spend.