Proximity to a public school has caused the city of Stroud officials to scrap their plans for a private prison in the city’s industrial park.
Florida based GEO Group had expressed interest in building a 1,000-1,500 bed facility which would house prisoners who are elderly and in poor health. The plan was to then market the space to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections who is near capacity at its facilities.
Stroud law states that the school board had to approve any prison facility located within a mile of a school. City officials pulled the request before the board could act.
“The word was they were all against it,” said David Timmons, assistant to the Stroud city manager. “We wanted to avoid putting the school board in a difficult position.”
GEO had indicated that Stroud would offer the perfect location because it is centrally located between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Residents of the community will be able to voice their concerns at a Town Hall Meeting on April 9.
“This announcement comes right on the heels of this association’s call for more public prison beds,” said OPEA Deputy Director Scott Barger. “Private prisons have a history of under performing and over charging and it looks as though the people of Stroud are taking a second look at building one in their community.”