theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

March 1, 2013

Bill would allow inmates to work on farms, ranches

Ada —  

A bill that would allow Oklahoma prison inmates to work on private farms and ranches is inching closer to becoming law.

Senate Bill 488 has cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. Now, it is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor.

The bill by Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, authorizes the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to develop a farm worker program for inmates. Department officials would set eligibility requirements for participating inmates, determine wages and decide which farms and ranches may participate.

The program would be exempt from any state laws barring private citizens from using inmate labor.

The bill was inspired by a Stratford resident who owns a peach orchard and organic farm and who was concerned about a shortage of workers, Paddack said. She said the measure will address that issue while giving inmates a chance to learn a trade.

“It allows them to have marketable skills when they get out of prison,” she said Thursday.

Paddack said the bill is a work in progress, and supporters will have to educate people about the need for a farm worker program for inmates. She said it is difficult to predict how the measure will fare on the Senate floor.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks
Poll

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

Yes
No
     View Results