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Senate GOP Leader Responds: Corn’s Comments Show Senate Dems Are Out of Touch on Public Safety

Senator Glenn Coffee Senator Glenn Coffee
Sen. Coffee responds to remarks by Sen. Corn.

Comments by a Senate Democrat leader that there is “no difference” between inmates at minimum and maximum security prisons shows just how out of touch Senate Democrats are on public safety issues.

Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, the Democrat’s point person on public safety funding, made the comment while criticizing a GOP prison funding proposal that would give correctional employees larger pay increases if they work at more dangerous facilities. Corn said no pay differential is necessary because there is “no difference” between inmates in different types of facilities.

“Sen. Corn’s comments are absolutely irresponsible, and this shows just how out of touch he and his Democrat colleagues are on public safety issues,” stated Senate GOP Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.

“Sen. Corn is equating someone convicted of writing hot checks who is in a minimum security prison with habitual child molesters, rapists, and murderers locked up in a maximum security facility. This lack of understanding harkens back to the day when Senate Democrats were arguing in favor of providing cable television for inmates and arguing against putting fences around prisons because it would hurt the inmates’ feelings,” he said.

Coffee noted that Senate Democrats are protesting just a little too loudly in their claims that their plan does not include early release provisions.

“Senate Democrats are the architects of early release, and they have made no secret of their intentions to bring back early release – whether it is under the guise of ‘re-entry programs’ or whether it is allowing easier and earlier paroles. Republicans will fight them every step of the way on their plans to bring back early release,” he said.

Coffee said efforts by Senate Democrats to blame Republicans for under-funding public safety agencies is “laughable.”

“No one is buying the Senate Democrats’ deathbed conversion on public safety because they have deliberately under-funded and neglected public safety agencies for years. If Republicans were in charge of the Senate, all this quibbling over a special session would not be necessary, because public safety would be funded at appropriate levels for the first time in decades. But that can’t happen until the leadership of the Senate changes,” Coffee concluded.

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