Lucas, Inhofe, Lankford Urge President Biden to Support Hinton Jobs

Apr 15, 2021
Economy
Press

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) sent a letter this week to President Biden urging him to suspend the executive order to close down prisons, including the Great Plains Correctional Institution located in Hinton, Oklahoma.

The members wrote: “We write urging you to suspend your January 26, 2021, executive order to close down prisons, including those housing criminal aliens. The Great Plains Correctional Institution located in Hinton, Oklahoma, is among those your administration has targeted.”

They continued: “The Great Plains facility plays an important role in ensuring criminal aliens serve their sentences and are released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that they may be deported to their home countries. Justice must be served before we deport criminal aliens. Closing this facility sends the signal to communities across our nation that justice for victims is not your top priority.”

Read the full letter here and below:

Dear President Biden, 

We write urging you to suspend your January 26, 2021, executive order to close down prisons, including those housing criminal aliens. The Great Plains Correctional Institution located in Hinton, Oklahoma, is among those your administration has targeted. It is a low-security prison that has capacity to house as many as 1,940 criminal alien prisoners and its contract is set to expire on May 31, 2021. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has informed us this contract will not be renewed, apparently in response to your executive order. We believe your order is imprudent and will not serve the interests of Oklahoma or the nation.  

The Great Plains facility plays an important role in ensuring criminal aliens serve their sentences and are released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that they may be deported to their home countries. Justice must be served before we deport criminal aliens. Closing this facility sends the signal to communities across our nation that justice for victims is not your top priority. We understand your Administration intends to transfer criminal aliens to other BOP facilities, but that could compromise the safety and security of other facilities as many of these criminal aliens are known gang members that could cause conflicts with American inmates.  

We are very concerned with the negative economic impact closing this facility will have on the town of Hinton and its surrounding communities. The facility employs more than 250 Oklahomans and provides millions of dollars in tax revenue, which support community infrastructure and other important needs. Your blanket order, made without assessing needs or conditions at specific facilities, will devastate the economy of Hinton during a challenging economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

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