May 4, 2016

Proposals to Be Unveiled to Lease Private Prison, Combine State Prisons

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The North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre is owned by Corrections Corp. of America.

The North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre is owned by Corrections Corp. of America.

Proposals to lease a private prison in Sayre to house state inmates and to consolidate some state prisons are scheduled to go before the Oklahoma Board of Corrections on Thursday.

Tennessee-based Corrections Corp. of America owns the North Fork Correctional Facility.

The prison, which has a capacity of 2,400 and held inmates from California, was the site of a riot in 2011. In 2012, California began pulling its inmates out of the prison, and in November 2015 the facility shuttered.

Joe Allbaugh, interim director for the Department of Corrections, has said he was looking into leasing a private prison facility, staffing it with state corrections officers and shutting down some older state-owned prisons or parts of the prisons.

The agenda for Thursday’s Board of Corrections meeting originally did not contain the two items, but an amended agenda was posted early Wednesday afternoon.

How much the lease would cost, its length and other terms were not included in the board meeting packet, nor were details about the facility consolidation plan.

Terri Watkins, spokeswoman for the department, declined comment on the proposals and said details would be released Thursday. Steve Owen, a spokesman for Corrections Corp., referred questions to Watkins.

The board meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Corrections Department headquarters in Oklahoma City.