Several OPEA members traveled to Idabel recently for a bean supper, with special guests that included Lt. Governor Jari Askins, Senators Jerry Ellis and Kenneth Corn, and Representative Dennis Baily.
OPEA Membership Representative Rick Allen joined a group of OPEA members for the supper, which included Kevin Angel, Mark Finch, Bill Harrington, Justin Humphreys, all from Howard McLeod Correctional Center.
“We have come tonight to support Senator Jerry Ellis who supported HMCC staff in their time of need” said Mark Finch. “We are also here to ask the Legislators not to cut the Department of Corrections budget anymore this year.”
“We have sergeants running the facility shifts due to the shortage of luitenents and staff at the facility,” said Kevin Angel. “We want to become part of the solution to our agency. Our next move is to begin a chapter and committee that will present policy changes to the agency which will enhance our work place.”
“Private prisons became a part of business for Oklahoma years ago,” said Lt. Governor Jari Askins.” The Board of Corrections over sees these contracts as a part of Oklahoma’s business. Oklahoma has to be careful in depending and needing private prison beds as to not let to large a percentage of our inmates be contracted to the private sector. It costs Oklahoma for each inmate housed in private beds. If not monitored closely this could become very costly business for Oklahoma,” Askins said.