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10:25 am
Thu October 15, 2009

Prison Crisis

Granite,OK – Lawmakers: Prison too valuable to close

GRANITE, Okla. (AP) State lawmakers say they have no plans to close the Oklahoma State Reformatory.

Rep. Randy Terrill of Moore and Sen. Anthony Sykes of Newcastle toured the state facility in Granite on Wednesday. They say lawmakers will consider a private maximum-security prison, but that it will be an addition to current state prisons.

The Granite prison was among three recommended for demolition in a report by a consultant group hired by the Legislature to examine the state's prisons.

The consultants recommended spending about $220 million to renovate Oklahoma's 17 prisons and $292 million more to add an extra 2,600 beds.

Sykes says closing Granite would work against lawmakers' goals because it would decrease the department's inmate capacity at a time when extra space for inmates is crucial.

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Information from: The Lawton Constitution, http://www.swoknews.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.