Prison Employees Want More Funding, End Furloughs

Monday, October 18th 2010, 9:16 am
By: News 9

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Department of Corrections employees held a news conference to call for more funding for prisons and an end to furloughs for DOC employees.

The news conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol was hosted by the union representing state employees, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.

The prison employees want the legislature to provide supplemental funding to prisons in order to end unpaid furloughs of employees. The furloughs were ordered because of state budget cuts due to the recession.

DOC workers from across the state voiced their concerns of the toll furloughs are taking on employees and public safety.

"I work on a 100-man maximum security unit alone, all by myself. And the furloughs are really bad on me and my son because they are taking money out of our pockets that we could be spending for food, or doctor bills," said Chad Reid, Correctional Facility Officer at Lexington Assessment and Reception Center.

The Department of Corrections estimates it only needs $9 million to stop the furloughs for the rest of this fiscal year.

The legislature will make a decision when it reconvenes in February.