With overcrowding in Oklahoma’s prison system, the number of inmates shifted to private prisons in the state has grown from 5,132 at the beginning of 2013 to more than 5,800 at the end of August.
That represents a 13 percent increase this year and a 29 percent increase since July 2008, when about 4,500 state inmates were housed in private prisons.
Because the state prison system is at near-capacity and is expected to keep growing, state officials say more inmates could end up in private prisons in coming years. Several interim legislative studies this fall will examine the issue.
The chart below reflects the private prison population growth this year:
Source: Oklahoma Department of Corrections.