The director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC), Joe Allbaugh, issued a hiring freeze, effective immediately, for “the majority of the agency.”
A press release issued Thursday afternoon stated that the freeze could be the first of several changes DOC officials plan to implement in the face of another budget failure.
Correctional officers, probation and parole officer, medical professionals and food service workers are excluded from the freeze.
DOC officials say there are 348 vacant positions that will go unfilled because of the freeze. It is unclear how much the hiring freeze will save the department in revenue.
“This is a logical maneuver to allow us flexibility with the recent budget failure,” Allbaugh said. “Although the agency is already cut to the bone financially, we will continue to create more savings from what we have without furloughing any current employees.”
The DOC was ordered to cut nearly $3-million from its budget before the end of the fiscal year.