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Today In The News
In The Know is taking a break for the rest of the week as most staff head to conferences. We’ll return on Monday, December 5th.
Decades of neglect underpins $1.65 billion prisons request: Overseeing chronically overcrowded, rapidly deteriorating facilities, Oklahoma’s prison director is seeking to triple his department’s budget in hopes of reversing decades of deferred maintenance and neglect that has jeopardized a linchpin of public safety. “We’re not a listing ship. We are a sinking ship,” Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said after the state Board of Corrections approved his nearly $1.65 billion budget request for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and sent it to state lawmakers for their review [NewsOK]. The effects of budget cuts on Oklahoma prisons are hidden but dangerous [OK Policy].
Epidemic Ignored: Lack of accountability in Oklahoma jails leaves prisoners vulnerable, taxpayers on the hook: When the inmate asked for a wheelchair, the Beckham County jail staff gave him an alternative option: crawling. The man’s feet were swollen, bleeding and cracked, caused by gout, a painful form of arthritis. He couldn’t walk. For days, the man crawled on the cold, concrete floor. When his family came to the jail to visit him, he crawled across the floor to meet them. When staff brought his medicine to the cell, he crawled to the cell door [NewsOK].
Mothers in Prison: The women’s wing of the jail here exhales sadness. The inmates, wearing identical orange uniforms, ache as they undergo withdrawal from dugs, as they eye one another suspiciously, and as they while away the days stripped of freedom, dignity, privacy, and, most painful of all, their children. “She’s disappointed in me,” Janay Manning, 29, a drug offender shackled to the wall for an interview, said of her eldest daughter, a 13 year-old. And then she started crying, and we paused our interview [Nicholas Kristof / The New York Times].
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