Cleveland Comments on Corrections Budget Request


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Contact: State Rep. Bobby Cleveland
Phone: (405) 557-7308

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Bobby Cleveland today commented on the Oklahoma Board of Corrections Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request.

 

On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved the Oklahoma Department of Corrections $1.57-billion FY2020 budget request that includes $884 million to add 5,200 beds, $91.7 million for inmate hepatitis C treatment, $31.9 million for facility repairs, maintenance and critical needs, and $18.5 million for staff pay raises.

 

“After six years of visiting prisons throughout our state and serving as the chairman of the House Public Safety Committee, I applaud Director Joe Allbaugh’s request,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “It is time we stop kicking this can down the road and fund our prisons properly. It’s a safety issue for corrections officers and staff and for prisoners who the state is obligated to care for during the terms of their incarceration.”

 

Cleveland said he fought his entire legislative career for criminal justice reforms only to see slow progress at the state Capitol. He said more lawmakers need to take up the charge to fight for higher salaries for corrections workers. He also wants them to continue to focus on meaningful reforms that will reduce the state’s prison population and return rehabilitated people to their families and to the work force.

 

“If we’re going to continue to incarcerate record numbers of our fellow citizens, then we can at least have proper facilities to house and care for them,” he said. “We also must pay our prison guards a better salary. These men and women put their lives on the line for their fellow Oklahomans every day. They make less than if they worked at a local convenience store, and yet we ask them to do one of the toughest jobs in the state.”