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A year after DOC closes inmate work centers cities continue to struggle
By ardmoreite.com- Tiffany Ditto
Published: 06/19/2017

It has been a nearly year since the Oklahoma Department of Corrections closed three inmate work centers that served Ardmore and Southern Oklahoma.

As a result, some cities have been forced to absorb additional labor cost while others have had to look elsewhere to make up the difference.

“When they decided to close these work centers, no one in the legislature knew,” said Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore. “There’s no doubt that the prison board director did it this way, because the legislatures would try to stop it.

In fairness to him though he was trying to save billions of dollars in corrections. We needed to save money and this was a way to do it, but no doubt it has hurt our smaller cities.”

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections decided last May to allow the Oklahoma DOC to rent a private prison in Sayre on a $37.5 million, five-year contract.

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