Oklahoma is a booming agricultural state. The state is the 27th most agriculturally productive in the US, with wheat and cattle production at five. And it has the fastest growing economy.
While there are many things to appreciate about Oklahoma, the crime rate in the state isn’t something to admire. Oklahoma is ranked 12th among the US states with the highest violent crime rate per capita. In comparison to other states in the nation, it has the highest crime rate.
An overview of the prisons in the state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma's state and federal prisons have seen an increase in fatalities, which indicates a flawed healthcare system and sanitation.
According to data released by the US Department of Justice, Oklahoma had the second-highest prison homicide rate from 2001 to 2014, with 13 deaths per 10,000 inmates. Additionally, the state's crime rate has increased, which has led to Oklahoma's prisons becoming overcrowded.
What are the reasons that make the prisons of Oklahoma the worst?
- With the increasing crime rate and prison population, staffing in prisons is decreasing hastily. Decreased oversight of the inmates has also contributed to increased prison riots in Oklahoma.
- Prison overcrowding was brought on by Oklahoma's rising crime rate, resulting in a reduction in health resources as well as poor sanitation.
- The conditions are made worse by the higher death rate caused by the rising abuse and homicide rates inside the prison.
What are the seven worst prisons in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Oklahoma State Penitentiary is a maximum security prison located in McAlester, Oklahoma. It is nicknamed “Big Mac." It was built in 1908 with 50 inmates capacity, and now it can house 750 offenders. The facility is operational under the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
There have been numerous riots and murders at this facility, many gang-related. The riots that have plagued the facility have worsened inmates' living conditions. The most important cause of these riots was the understaffing of the facility. Randy Lopez, one of the guards who has worked here for 20 years, claims that prisoners are aware of staffing levels and take advantage of them when they are low.
Cimarron Correctional Facility
Cimarron Correctional Facility is located 3 miles southwest of the city of Cushing in Payne County, Oklahoma. It is a medium-security prison operated by CoreCivic (previously known as Corrections Corporation of America). The facility opened its doors in 1997 and has room for up to 1650 prisoners.
The facility’s failure to staff the prison properly has led to tragic consequences and deaths. Tragic outcomes and fatalities have resulted from the facility's inadequate prison staffing. Gang violence and riots have resulted in a lot of deaths. Four prisoners were stabbed and found dead in the facility during a riot.
Lexington Assessment and Reception Center
Lexington Assessment and Reception Center (LARC) is located in Cleveland County, Lexington, Oklahoma. It is a maximum security prison owned and managed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Since 1978, the facility has been operational and can house up to 1,450 male detainees. The facility consists of 11 buildings with open-style dormitories, each with 340 beds.
The prison is overcrowded, which affects sanitation and the inmates' access to proper medical care. The state’s officials stated that overcrowding and inadequate staffing had created security problems in LARC. Additionally, the facility has seen an increase in gang activity and riots.
Great Plains Correctional Institution
The Great Plains Correctional Institution, located in Hinton, Caddo County, Oklahoma, is a medium security prison. Since 1991, it has been operational and managed by the GEO Group. Instead of being medium security, the facility houses a maximum of 1940 inmates. Although it is a medium security prison, the facility can only accommodate a maximum of 1940 inmates.
Riots and violence have plagued the Great Plains Correctional Institution. Violence has increased in the facility as a result of an increase in gang-related activities. Aside from this, the facility has poor living conditions that make it hard for inmates to live there.
Davis correctional facility
The Davis correctional facility is a medium/maximum security prison for male offenders. It is located in Holdenville, Oklahoma, and is operated by CoreCivic. The facility can house inmates up to 1600.
The facility has seen an increase in violence and riots, which has resulted in many fatalities. In an attack, a guard was killed by an inmate. The facility's failure to provide adequate staffing is the primary cause of these violent incidents.
Mack Alford Correctional Center
Mack Alford Correctional Center is a medium security prison that opened in 1973. This facility is located in Atoka County, near Stringtown, Oklahoma. The facility is also known as the Stringtown Correctional Center and is operated by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The prison's capacity is 933 inmates, which was opened in 1973.
The facility has been overcrowded, and the staffing levels are insufficient, which results in plaguing violence and riots at the facility with many fatalities. In one incident, prisoners held four guards hostage, set three dormitories on fire, and assaulted an officer with a rock. In addition to the riots, there are also poor conditions at the facilities due to a lack of supplies.
The North Fork Correctional Center
The North Fork Correctional Centre, a medium/maximum security prison, is located east of Sayre, Oklahoma, in Beckham County. And it can carry 2,520 prisoners. CoreCivic operated the facility from 1998 to 2015. Inmates from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation were housed there in 2015 to relieve overcrowding. The facility reopened after a year under the Oklahoma Department of Corrections management.
The prison is overcrowded with so many prisoners that riots and fatalities have occurred. A riot resulted in injuries to 46 inmates. The prison's enormous population of inmates causes numerous health and sanitation issues, and the living conditions are also subpar.
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