Alva Review-Courier -

By Keaton Ross
Oklahoma Watch 

As state prison staffing shortage persists, advocates fear violence


Persuaded by his two uncles, both veteran state corrections officers, Tommy Thompson applied to work at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in the spring of 2018. He breezed through a six-week training period and was promoted from cadet to officer by late summer.

Thompson said he took pride in protecting the public from some of the state’s most notorious prisoners, many of whom are serving out life sentences or facing capital punishment. But the most dangerous part of his workday might have been the 48-mile commute back to his Holdenville home.

“I actually blew a tire on the side of the r...

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