OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Oklahoma prisons are facing a staffing crisis as well as operational inefficiencies, according to a lengthy report released Thursday by the Legislative Office for Fiscal Transparency, or LOFT.
This was a detailed assessment of the Department of Corrections which also revealed that they had repeatedly failed to realize their operational savings.
The 59-page report can be read in full below.
It examines what LOFT said were four key points in their review. These are findings regarding management, prison population, facilities and staffing.
The Department of Corrections’ last review was in 2007. LOFT said many of the same issues discovered then still exist. They say their investigation found poor facilities, poor staffing and poor budget management practices, which if changed would have saved millions of taxpayers’ money in several areas.
While ministry officials at the meeting said they did not disagree with the findings, they said other factors went into it, such as the pandemic. They also said it’s not that they didn’t recognize the savings, they just took some of it and reinvested it into their facilities, staff and employee raises, instead of asking for more funding to the legislature.
“I acknowledge the efforts made to understand or identify cost savings or cost reductions over the years. There is never a time or, I don’t think a given day, when we don’t have unexpected or unforeseen circumstances that require us to dip into those savings to be able to continue to run the department,” the manager said. of the Department of Corrections. Scott Raven.
“We make some of these recommendations in the report that it would be good to take a step back, look at the system as a whole and come up with a strategic vision,” said LOFT executive director Mike Jackson.
Department officials also said they recognize the room for improvement. LOFT also listed several recommendations in the report for them.
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