OPEA Addresses Rumors about Possible Prison Closures

Leaders of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association met Thursday with Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee to discuss rumors about possible prison closures in Oklahoma.

Media coverage in the McAlester, Atoka and Norman newspapers has fueled speculation among readers.

“Rumors continue to swirl about a legislative request for a cost analysis study within the DOC,” said OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley. “We met to discuss these issues at Senator Coffee’s request. He assured us no decision has been made on any closures; this study will tell lawmakers how much is being spent on public prisons. This cost analysis, coupled with a recent architectural study, will give legislators a blueprint on how to proceed effectively.

State employees continue to contact both OPEA and Senator Coffee’s office, voicing their concerns about these rumors. Senator Coffee set aside time to meet with OPEA leaders during the Senate deadline week in an effort to calm the growing feeling of insecurity.

“We remain cautiously optimistic until the final recommendations are revealed. OPEA appreciates Senator Coffee’s attention to the concerns of our members. We look forward to working with him as the final recommendations are discussed,” Zearley said.

OPEA will continue to closely monitor this study and provide updates as they become available.

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