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“Oklahoma Prison Workers Need Pay Increase, Legislative Panel Told”

Filed by KOSU News in State Impact.
October 13, 2012

A lot of guards are leaving prisons to take jobs in Oklahoma’s booming oil fields, but Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, says the shortage is statewide: “These prison staffing levels are life and death situations now.”

Inmates at William S. Key Correctional Center in Fort Supply have walked away because of low staffing levels, Hickman said. The minimum security prison, which has no fence around it, has 54 officers to watch more than 1,000 inmates. Prisoners wait for the overworked guards to be distracted and make the 30-yard walk to a nearby highway, he said.

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