Department of Corrections announces hiring freeze after state revenue failure

OKLAHOMA CITY – While the state is facing another revenue failure, an Oklahoma agency says it is implementing a hiring freeze to deal with the potential cuts to funding.

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Board of Equalization confirmed a revenue failure in the state after learning about an $878 million shortfall.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced a hiring freeze that is effective immediately for the majority of the agency.

The freeze excludes correctional officers, probation and parole officers, medical professionals and food service workers.

Currently, officials say there are 348 positions that will go unfilled due to the freeze.

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization ordered the Department of Corrections to cut $2.964 million from its budget before July.

“This is a logical maneuver to allow us flexibility with the recent budget failure,” DOC Director Joe Allbaugh said. “Although the agency is already cut to the bone financially, we will continue to create more savings from what we have without furloughing any current employees.

“Even with today’s announcement, I know the dedicated employees at the department will respond with resiliency while stepping up to fill the gaps others have left. Together, we will continue to fulfill our core mission, which is to ensure public safety.”