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November 21, 2017, 09:49:47 am
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Author Topic: Stop building new prisons in Oklahoma  (Read 22968 times)
RecycleMichael
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« on: November 05, 2010, 06:17:03 am »

We haven't enough money for schools for a number of reasons and I would like to eloborate on one of them. We have made prison building the new pork project for state representatives to bring jobs back to their district.

Last Sunday's Tulsa World had interesting facts on our new cottage industry. "our prison system has more than doubled, rising to 26,000 inmates, in 20 years. During the same period, the budget of the Department of Corrections, the overburdened innkeeper, surged 196 percent. Until recently, the prison system ranked as the fastest growing part of state government, consuming 7 percent of the state budget."

Look at this impressive list of facilities...

Altus Community Work Center
Ardmore Community Work Center
Beaver Work Center
Charles E. Johnson Correctional Center
Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center
Earl A. Davis Work Center
Elk City Community Work Center
Enid Community Corrections Center
Frederick Community Work Center
Healdton Community Work Center
Hillside Community Corrections Center
Hobart Community Work Center
Hollis Community Work Center
Howard McLeod Correctional Center
Idabel Community Work Center
Jackie Brannon Correctional Center
James Crabtree Correctional Center
Jess Dunn Correctional Center
Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center
John Lilley Correctional Center
Joseph Harp Correctional Center
Kate Barnard Community Corrections Center
Lawton Community Corrections Center
Lexington Assessment and Reception Center
Lexington Correctional Center
Mabel Bassett Correctional Center
Mack Alford Correctional Center
Mangum Community Work Center
Marshall County Community Work Center
Muskogee Community Corrections Center
Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center
Oklahoma City Community Corrections Center
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Oklahoma State Reformatory
R.B. Conner Correctional Center
Sayre Community Work Center
Walters City Community Work Center
Waurika Community Work Center
William S. Key Correctional Center

Enough already.

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OpenYourEyesTulsa
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 08:31:08 am »

I agree.  They need to make the death penalty process more efficient so they can clean them out.
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Breadburner
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 08:45:02 am »

They provide much needed career opprutunity in rural communities......The money for these has nothing to do with schools.....
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swake
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 08:51:38 am »

I agree.  They need to make the death penalty process more efficient so they can clean them out.

This is just plain stupid. I hope you are joking.

Death row makes up a tiny fraction of the overall prisoner population, speeding death row would do nothing to shrink the number of people we lock up. Typical inane Republican sound bite solution to a real problem.

The majority of prisoners are in jail for drugs and not violent crimes anyway. Get rid of three strikes for non violent offenders and switch rehab for most jail time for drug offenders. Hell, legalize pot for that matter and we would not need nearly so much prison space.
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Conan71
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 09:38:02 am »

And while the DOC is building all these new facilities, their maintenance at older facilities is deplorable.  There's a pattern of waiting until critical mechanical systems fail before they do anything about it which spikes the cost of replacement projects.  I'm working on a project at one of the facilities right now.  They are on back up heat and hot water and if that takes a crap, they've got 1000 pissed off and cold inmates.  The people I'm dealing with on the project are having to take furlough days which is maddening in trying to schedule phases of the project.  I had to put of a job walk with a sub today because our maintenance director is on a furlough day.

The DOC is incredibly inefficient mostly due to all this decentralization.  There's no reason we should have more than six to ten large regional facilities other than what has been pointed out about prisons bringing money to rural areas.  We have the same problem with our state university system.

With all these "work centers", can these become income-producing and self-sustaining?  Are they actually producing something of value now, or simply digging ditches and spreading asphalt which saves state budget money now?  Can anyone put an answer on that.

Also, before we accept that the majority of offenders are in due to minor drug issues, someone please provide some real stats.  Often these drug offenders had theft and domestic violence or weapons charges in concert with the drug charges, but often on plea, some charges get dropped.  On the one hand, DA's get beat up for accepting plea deals and turning people loose (the proverbial "revolving door") or there's too much crime on the streets and we aren't locking enough people up.  I honestly have a hard time believing the Oklahoma prisons are crowded with a bunch of people who were caught with an ounce of weed.
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jamesrage
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 10:16:06 am »

I kind of wonder if these prisons are used to house inmates from other states. If so then this should be stopped. I have no problem with criminals being locked up however I believe states should only house their own inmates and not those of other states.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 10:19:11 am »

We haven't enough money for schools for a number of reasons and I would like to eloborate on one of them. We have made prison building the new pork project for state representatives to bring jobs back to their district.

Time to repeal prohibition, and do away with all the associated corruption.
There are those that say it will reduce our productivity, but how productive are people locked up in prisons because they had marijuana in their home?

Then there's CCA promising they can keep prisons full and profitable with new immigration laws...
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swake
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 10:25:19 am »

I was going off what my father had told me years ago when he was the head psychologist at McAlester.

It was hard to find hard numbers or very recent numbers but here they are. Only half of all prisoners are convicted of violent offenses. The other half are property crimes and drugs. In 2000 22% of Federal prisoners were in for drugs, 50.5% of people in state prisons and jails were in for drugs. That was in 2000, I would assume those numbers to be higher today. I didnít find anything on Oklahoma specifically.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/409/toohigh.shtml

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/usa/incarceration/
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 10:32:43 am »

We could reduce crime by making all the non-violent crimes no longer crimes.

By the way, where do you keep your spare house key?  I'd really hate to have someone break down your door to get in and non-violently steal all your stuff when they could just open the door.
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swake
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 10:56:02 am »

We could reduce crime by making all the non-violent crimes no longer crimes.

By the way, where do you keep your spare house key?  I'd really hate to have someone break down your door to get in and non-violently steal all your stuff when they could just open the door.


Thatís a crap response. Iím not advocating anything like releasing all non violent or even all drug offenders. Typical Republican inane sound bite red herring response.

I am saying rehab instead of jail for many, maybe most but certainly not all drug offenders and no third strike for non violent offenders. A real argument could be made for shorter sentences too for non violent offenders overall. Letís stop leading the world in the percentage of the population in prison.

We lead the developed world in murders, crime, and incarceration. Maybe we arenít doing it the whole criminal justice thing right. Our schools rank near the bottom in the developed world, and we lead the developed world in percentage of population in poverty. Could poverty be our real problem? Not crime? Maybe we should spend more money on schools instead of on prisons. Shouldnít we try to save money on prisons so that more could be devoted to schools?
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 11:00:33 am »

We just like having prisoners. It makes our politicians look tough on crime.

Oklahoma incarcerates 665 per 100,000 population.
Kansas is 312. Arkansas is 502. Missouri is 506. The national average is 447.

We are number four. Only Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi have a higher incarceration rate.

Oh, and we are number one are incarcerating women.  
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Townsend
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 11:07:10 am »

Oh, and we are number one are incarcerating women.  

In our defense, some of the women I've dated...
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 11:11:41 am »

In our defense, some of the women I've dated...

You just thought they were women...
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Conan71
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 11:19:22 am »

I was going off what my father had told me years ago when he was the head psychologist at McAlester.

It was hard to find hard numbers or very recent numbers but here they are. Only half of all prisoners are convicted of violent offenses. The other half are property crimes and drugs. In 2000 22% of Federal prisoners were in for drugs, 50.5% of people in state prisons and jails were in for drugs. That was in 2000, I would assume those numbers to be higher today. I didnít find anything on Oklahoma specifically.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/409/toohigh.shtml

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/usa/incarceration/



You are correct, trying to find relevant statistics for who is incarcerated is maddening, but I finally did on the ODOC web site.  Here's a link to the Sept. 2010 report:

http://www.doc.state.ok.us/newsroom/facts/September%202010%20Facts%20at%20a%20Glance.pdf

Here's how to get to the reports if you want to do some poking around:

http://www.doc.state.ok.us/newsroom/faag.htm

Non-violent offenses comprise 52.5% of the incarcerated population 47.5% are violent offenses.  One metric we don't know is how many non-violent were after a prior violent or simply a habitual thief or multiple drug offenses or negligent homicide attached to alcohol or drug use.  I think we can agree that someone who has multiple DUI's or driving impaired on drugs is a threat to public safety.

There's just over 52,000 people in the DOC system.  Right at 1/2 are incarcerated.  The rest are on community sentencing, parole, or probation, and similar programs I refer to as "out-patient prisoners".

By far distributing a controlled substance is the leading crime at 4400 offenders, or 17.1%.  Next is possession or trying to obtain a dangerous substance at 2780 inmates or 10.7%.  Assault, robbery, and rape round out the top five offenses of people in the prison system at 6911.

So, nearly 28% of the prison population is there for a drug offense, 10% of the population is essentially users.  I'm curious how many on distribution charges were more or less "trumped-up" based on having a large quantity for personal use?  I also think we should be taking a closer look at non-violent offenders getting 1 to 3 year sentences for first offenses and see if they can be put on probation instead.  

Swake, as far as the three strike rule, I suppose there was some sort of methodology to that when it was crafted but it doesn't leave much room for a judge to be objective in sentencing.  I believe the public has a right to be protected from someone who has been busted multiple times for auto theft or burglary but I'm sure it's being misapplied in many cases based on our prison population. 

Also of note is are recidivism rate is about 23%
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 11:43:01 am by Conan71 » Logged

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Red Arrow
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 11:43:57 am »


Thatís a crap response.

Of course it is.  At least you clarified your position.

Quote
Typical Republican inane sound bite red herring response.

Sometimes you guys on the left need a smack upside the head with a 2x4.

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