STATE

Oklahoma prisons facing significant staffing shortages | Latest Headlines

A few years ago, lawmakers appropriated additional dollars to give staff with direct inmate contact a $2 an hour raise, Crow said.

The agency, he said, is reestablishing a retention and recruitment unit.

A few years ago, the agency decided to rely more on social media for retention and recruitment, Crow said.

While the agency will continue to rely on social media, it will also seek applicants at job fairs and through career techs and colleges, Crow said.

Crow said he is monitoring staffing levels at each of the facilities. If staffing gets critical, Crow said he can move staff temporarily from other facilities to assist.

“I have my finger on the pulse of what is going on in those facilities to reinforce what we need to do,” Crow said.

Rep. J.J. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, chairs the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee.

He said the staffing shortage crisis has been going on for decades.

The staffing shortage creates a dangerous atmosphere for employees, inmates and the public, Humphrey said.

“It is a very serious condition,” he said.

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