Okla. prison workers decry lack of pay raise

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Associated Press

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 11:04 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma prison workers say they are nearing a breaking point with staffing shortages, low wages and the increasing prison population.

About a dozen uniformed prison guards visited the state Capitol Wednesday and urged legislators to reconsider their decision not to support a pay raise for workers at the Department of Corrections.

A $12 million plan to give prison workers a 5 percent pay increase stalled earlier this year in a House committee. It was the top funding request from the Department of Corrections, which received no increase in funding as part of a budget deal reached between the governor and GOP legislative leaders.

The department has experienced a 14 percent decline in the number of employees and an 11 percent increase in the number of inmates during the last decade.

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