Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee said Thursday it is premature for legislators to call for the construction of a new government-run prison before a legislative performance audit of the Department of Corrections is completed in December.
Historically, when you take capital costs into account the state has gotten a better bang for its buck when we use private prison space. Well see in December if the performance audit shows that this is still the case, said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
Coffee said most of the problems faced by Oklahomas prison system are due to liberal Democrats who have intentionally under-funded the Department of Corrections.
Unfortunately, liberal Democrats in the State Senate have intentionally under-funded the Department of Corrections for decades because most of them would prefer to let go many career criminals and dangerous criminals instead of locking them up. Democrat leaders have failed to make public safety funding a priority for many, many years, stated Coffee.
Thankfully, law-and-order Republicans finally have enough numbers in the Legislature to change things, and were doing just that, stated Coffee.