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:
  1. Private prisons cost $92.2 million last year — a 16 percent increase over the year before. http://okne.ws/1M0YYIt
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.