QUICK FACTS ABOUT PRIVATE PRISONS IN OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma's bloated incarceration system is becoming increasingly dependent on corporate prison beds. And it's costing us. Here are a few quick facts about private prisons in Oklahoma:
- •Private prisons cost $92.2 million last year — a 16 percent increase over the year before. http://okne.ws/1M0YYIt
- •The GEO Group, Inc., and Corrections Corporation of America are the country's two largest for-profit prison companies. They own or operate a combined five prisons in Oklahoma.
- •Not only are private prisons expensive, they have proven to be violent. At a private prison in Cushing, a clash of rival gangs led to the deaths of four inmates Sept. 12 in the single-deadliest prison incident in state history.
- •The annual cost of private prisons in the state has jumped nearly 30 percent in the past decade, from $71 million in 2005 to $92.2 million last year, records show.
- •Oklahoma's total prison population is nearly 28,000. More than 20 percent are in private prisons. The department increased its capacity by 76 beds this year at the GEO facility in Lawton.
- •Oklahoma's first private prison opened in 1990 Hinton, a town that wanted a prison so bad, it funded the $24 million construction itself. Between 1996 and 1998, five other private prisons opened across the state, immediately easing prison overcrowding.