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Local News

January 4, 2012

Cushing prison to hire 90 people for influx of Puerto Rican inmates

CUSHING, Okla. — A deal announced  this week to bring 480 inmates from Puerto Rico to the Cimarron Correctional Facility could mean 90 new jobs at the prison.

The Cushing prison is owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America, which provides prison services to a number of government agencies.

The CCA announced that it has entered into a contract with the Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and it will use the Cushing prison to house the inmates in that contract.

“One of the positive developments resulting from this contract will be additional career opportunities for the community,” said CCA spokesman Steven Owen. “We anticipate adding approximately 90 new positions at Cimarron, which will benefit the local economy.”

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 conferred American citizenship status to residents born on the island, which allows for free travel to the United States and conscription for military service.

Based in Nashville, Tenn., Corrections Corporation of America operates 67 sites including the Cushing prison. Owen said that the Cushing prison was selected because it had the available capacity and it offered rehabilitation programs and medical services that the Puerto Rican government officials were seeking. The facility is also accredited by the American Correctional Association, which means the jail meets certain professionalism standards.

Under the contract, 240 inmates are expected to be sent to Cushing in February, and the remaining inmates will be sent by summer.

Cushing’s Cimarron Correctional Facility has approximately 650 male inmates from the state of Oklahoma and has 1,692 beds, according to the company. The new population is expected to be approximately 1,100 following the arrival of the inmates from Puerto Rico.

The contract is for two years with two optional extensions for a maximum length of four years. The company previously had a contract with Puerto Rico in 2002.

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