Sending Them to Oklahoma

Colorado’s Joint Budget Committee is meeting tomorrow in Denver and Rep. Buffie McFadyen, along with House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, are calling on lawmakers to get a handle on the state’s prison population, which is spiraling out of control.

On Saturday, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and the Associated Press, reported that the Department of Corrections plans to ship 1,000 inmates out of state, probably to Oklahoma.Allison Morgan, the head of the Department of Corrections’ private-prison monitoring unit was quoted saying that judges are sending more inmates to prison than expected. The state, she said, doesn’t have enough money to hire more guards even though new private prisons with 3,776 beds have been approved.

Some lawmakers, including state Sen. Paul Weissmann, have been hammering on the need to address Colorado’s prison emergency for months, including, at least in Weissmann’s case, threats of refusal to vote for anything with fiscal implications until a Colorado prison plan is in place.

“In light of recent news regarding the move of 1,000 inmates out of state, three recent escapees from Arrowhead, and the DOC’s own admission that they don’t set goals and objectives, the people of Colorado need to insist on knowing how the DOC plans to keep Coloradoans safe in the future,” said McFadyen, a Democrat from Pueblo West, in a statement.