The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is attempting to terminate contracts with state halfway houses, including Ponca City’s Bridgeway.
According to Stacy Wilson, vice-President and halfway house director of Bridgeway Inc., a letter was received from the Department of Corrections to terminate the fixed rate contract they currently operate under as of July 31, 2020.
The state is pushing to cancel all halfway house contracts in the state of Oklahoma due to a projected budget shortfall.
“We currently house 121 incarcerated men in a work-release program here at Bridgeway and if this were to happen all of these inmates would have to be moved back to state facilities,” said Wilson.
“We are making a last ditch effort with help from Senator Bill Coleman and State Representative Ken Luttrell to convince DOC that Bridgeway is needed in our community.”
“This program Bridgeway offers actually saves the Department of Corrections money because half of the inmates paychecks go back to the DOC for program support. We have the highest employment percentage and the money is paid back to the state. Our closing will affect Dorada Foods workforce and we are working with the Governor to get an impact on the DOC’s decision before the end of the month. Many other local employers would also be affected as there are 19 other businesses that employ these inmates at Bridgeway,” added Wilson.