In The Know: Oklahoma selling bonds to expand prisons; new lawsuit over death in prison; education leaders see few benefits in SQ 801…
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In The News
‘It is shameful’: Corrections director says overcrowding means selling bonds to expand prison: The Board of Corrections took the initial steps to add capacity to the state prison system on Thursday.Meeting at the Jackie Brannon Correctional Center in McAlester, the board began the process of selling up to $116.5 million in bonds.Department of Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said in a phone interview that whether new prisons would be built or existing facilities would be expanded has not been determined. It could be a combination of both, he said. [Tulsa World]
Lawsuit by Amber Hilberling’s estate accuses DOC of not taking ‘any reasonable steps’ to prevent her death in prison: The estate of Amber Hilberling filed a lawsuit this summer alleging that the Oklahoma Department of Corrections did not do enough to prevent the woman’s death in prison. The lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court by Rhonda Whitlock, a special administrator for Hilberling’s estate, on July 20. It accuses the DOC of exposing the inmate at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud to “individual and cumulative conditions of confinement that substantially increased the risk of harm to her.” [Tulsa World]
Education leaders see few benefits in ballot measure to give schools more financial flexibility: Oklahoma education leaders say a state question designed to give districts more spending flexibility will do little to improve public schools’ financial difficulties. State Question 801 would allow school leaders to spend money in their building fund — currently restricted for things like construction projects, maintenance and repairs, utilities, and custodians’ salaries — in new ways. [KGOU] Find background information, arguments against and in favor of, and ballot language on our SQ 801 fact sheet. [OK Policy]
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