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Oklahoma prisons seek major boost in state funding

Posted at 7:46 AM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-31 08:46:39-04

VINITA, Okla. (AP) -- The Oklahoma Board of Corrections is asking the state to triple its funding next fiscal year and provide the agency with a more than $1.5 billion budget.

The funding request was approved Tuesday by the corrections board. It includes $884 million to add 5,200 prison beds; $91.7 million for inmate hepatitis C treatment; $31.9 million for facility repairs and maintenance; and $18.5 million for staff pay raises.

The agency received $517 million in funding for the current fiscal year.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh says the request is not a "wish list" but instead a realistic estimate of what the agency needs. Oklahoma has had the nation's highest incarceration rate and its prisons are regularly above capacity.

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