Prison officials ask for additional $6.4 million

Dec 10, 2012

Credit KWGS News File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma prison officials are asking for $6.4 million in additional funding as the state's prisons near capacity.

Officials say the supplemental funding request is needed to pay for expenses that include the increased use of private prisons and halfway houses.

The state Department of Corrections reports that in October there were almost 800 more inmates than in October 2011. DOC Director Justin Jones told the Tulsa World that state prisons are consistently at 96 to 98 percent capacity — meaning any increase pushes the system to being nearly full.

Oklahoma also has nearly 1,700 convicts in county jails awaiting transportation to the state Department of Corrections when beds become available.