This week on Mitchell Talks: The News 9 Sessions, Scott Mitchell and Aaron Brilbeck sit down with Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh.
A bill to give corrections officers a $2 per hour raise advanced.
While Allbaugh said he’s grateful for the pay increase, he also said, “It’s crazy. To single out one particular group which does not help with morale when someone gets a pay raise like the teachers did last year. We have 86 teachers in our system and support staff. They all got the teachers pay raise but we have unit managers, case workers, CO’s working side by side in those programs with them. How do you think they feel? Morale is in the tank.”
“Most of our facilities are doing 12 hour shifts. We have a couple of facilities doing 12 hour shifts five and six days a week. And that leads to all kinds of stress. They take it home, they don’t have time to decompress,” Allbaugh said.
“This is going to break at some point,” News9’s Aaron Brilbeck pointed out. “It about broke last week in Lawton where we had two gangs, the Surenos and the Savage Boys, duke it out for almost 15 minutes and there was virtually no response because the officers didn’t know what to do.”
Six bills are working their way through the legislature to reduce the prison population.