English Comp II
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Budget Increase in Oklahoma FY19 budget
Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) is an agency of the Oklahoma state. This State Government Agency is set to protect the public and intensify the safety of the people, promote a working environment which is safe for the staff and encourage a positive change in the behavior of the offender by fostering reentry and rehabilitation program.
The state of Oklahoma is undergoing the longstanding budget crisis. “The Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh reported: $1.5 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of slightly more than $1 billion from the last year.” (Hoberock 1) This request for grant includes the funding for two new medium security prisons, mental health program, and substance abuse programs. This request includes a budget of $107 million for repairing its facilities and $10 million to give raises to its employees. According to Director Joe M. Allbaugh, this budget demonstrates their current wants and needs. Funding the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is a necessary action and would enhance the facilities and services that are offered. Oklahoma struggles to locate the necessary funding for State Agencies. Currently the State Legislator and Governor of Oklahoma are examining all aspects of the State’s financial avenues. What areas of the Department of Corrections that are demanding attention to be resolved? What are the consequences of the underfunding of the Department of Corrections? Is the lack of funding contributing to the over population of the Prison System? What could prosper with the proper funding and how could this benefit Oklahoman’s.
The State of Oklahoma should fund the department because of the following tangible reasons. Firstly, in accordance to Page (2017), the directors of the ODOC Joe M. Allbaugh requested for funding of 1 billion dollars about the needs which the department had. These funds are meant for maintenance and repairs of the institution. Most of the state prisons are old and aging and this necessitates a significant repair or renovation from locks which are broken, cell doors, roofing and security cameras (Page, 2017). Another state prison requires new sewer system, repairs of the roads and efficient lighting while Jackie Brannon Correctional facilities need a water treatment plant to comply with the quality standards of the state department.
Secondly, due to the increase of the inmate population in the correction department, there is need of building other prison building to accommodate a large number of the inmate. Moreover, the needs of inmates programming have not been met. This requires funding for the teachers and program of staff treatment and required materials. Finally, there is need to pay the medical and dental care professional in better terms. Oklahoma correctional facilities are in the rural areas thereby there is a shortage of the health care practitioners who treat the inmates. This funding will provide a competitive payroll for the mental, dental and medical healthcare professionals to offer treatment services to the inmates since the department is obligated to provide healthcare to all the inmates.
The department has been funded well over the few years despite the demand for more funding. Cutting the budget could have effects on the correctional facilities, staff and offenders and iss necessary to maintain the state. The state needs to maintain a fiscal budget for all departments not just the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The department should allow the non-violent offender to undergo a diversion program for instance treatment and probation. These programs cans be administered on a self-pace program with guidance from trained staff. This will lower the population of the prison as well as protein the society (Zoukis, 2013). The Departments offering of these educational opportunities should be set guidelines and requirements aimed at reducing time served, directed at reduction of recidivism. This mean that the inmate will be beneficial to the society.
Page, G. (2017). Department of Corrections requesting $1B increase in state funding. Guthrie News Page. Retrieved 30 January 2018, from http://guthrienewspage.com/2017/11/department-of-corrections-requesting-1b-increase-in-state-funding/
Zoukis, C. (2013). Correctional Budget Cuts and Potential Solutions. Prison Education. Retrieved from http://Correctional Budget Cuts and Potential Solutions
It is evident that people will continue to be released from the prison, with limited supervision, the States crime rate will continue to rise and the state’s expenses to maintain the prison system will intensify within next 10 years unless the budget is controlled for the state of Oklahoma. According to 20-member groups of Oklahoma officials, such increase in crime rate due to augmenting cost and lack of supervision can be curbed by reducing budget grants to the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections.
The State of Oklahoma has endured over a decade of financial obstacles trying to make ends meet. The Oklahoma State Legislators are working hard to ensure all programs receive the necessary funding to complete their missions but are forced to make the necessary budget cuts to maintain states ability to progress through the fiscal year.
These budget cuts would encourage the Department of Corrections to employ suitable release programs, supervision out of the prisons, and help to reduce the cost of prison debt. Enabling the state officials to provide post-prison supervision to all the felons, hence it will not increase the recidivism. By providing supervision the crime rate is likely to decrease, which will, in turn, decrease the population growth in the prisons, consequently cutting the cost of the prison. It is profound that all other states have successfully managed to abate the crime rate, the states of Oklahoma has managed to mitigate crime rate slightly, which is followed by the perpetual increase in budget. Therefore, it is profound that increasing budget won’t help anymore, we need to try by cutting the budget to the Oklahoma state (MCNUT).
Different rehabilitation programs are helpful for the prisoners to live in the society. Such as Re-Entry Court program of Louisiana. The younger inmates are provided with anger management classes and communication. Even in the states with high incarceration rate such rehabilitation programs are very effective. The staff members can provide them counseling education and also provide them different job opportunities that will enable them to assert their energies in positive activities before returning to the society.
Oklahoma is suffering from violent crimes despite the overwhelming allocation of budget to the state the crime rate is out of control. This is primarily due to the lack of supervision for the perpetually increasing population in the prison system. Hence, budget cuts will alleviate the prison cost and post-supervision will be retained. Hence, recidivism will not get affected. Therefore, limiting or cutting the budget for the Oklahoma department of corrections, will control the growth of incarcerated population in the prisons and enable them to live outside without getting involved in any crime (Ferner).
Ferner, Matt . “These Programs Are Helping Prisoners Live Again On The Outside.” Huffington post 28 Jul 2015.
MCNUT, MICHAEL . “Report suggests ways for Oklahoma to reduce recidivism, prison costs.” News Ok 12 Jan 2012.