State Department of Corrections

Corrections
8:41 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Corrections Chief Open To Expanding Private-Prison Use

Robert Patton is the new Oklahoma Corrections Dept. director.
Credit Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

In Robert C. Patton, Oklahoma is getting a new corrections director from Arizona who is more than willing to use private prisons as a means to deal with inmate overcrowding.

“I’m a (prison) bed manager. I’ll tell the policy makers I need beds, and if I can convince them that I need beds, then it’s their jobs on whether it’s public or private,” said Patton, whose first day as Oklahoma Corrections Department director began Tuesday.

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House Committee Votes 8-0 For Bill
6:30 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

State Board Of Corrections On Its Way Out?

Credit mikecogh / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma House committee has approved legislation to abolish the state Board of Corrections and hand its duties over to the agency's director.

The House Government Modernization Committee voted 8-0 for the bill Thursday and sent it to the full House for a vote.

Currently, the seven-member Board of Corrections sets corrections policy for the state and appoints a director. Its members are chosen by the governor.

Under the bill, the corrections director would to be supervised by the governor's public safety secretary.

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Corrections
8:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Oklahoma Won't Review Execution Drugs Despite Inmate Complaints

The main gate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., home of the state's death row.
Credit duggar11

Oklahoma officials say they have no plans to review the state's execution protocol after two inmates given lethal injections this month made complaints as the drugs began to flow through their bodies.

Michael Lee Wilson, who was executed Jan. 9, said he felt his "whole body burning" within 20 seconds of receiving the injection. Kenneth Eugene Hogan, who was executed Thursday, complained of a metallic taste in his mouth after his injection.

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Corrections
9:13 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Oklahoma State Reformatory Inmate Dies In Custody

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

State corrections officials say an inmate has died at the Oklahoma State Reformatory.

Officials say the inmate was found Wednesday morning in his cell with blood surrounding him. Officials say the inmate had a faint pulse but responders were unable to revive him. The inmate was pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.

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State Capitol
8:43 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Pardon, Parole Board Hopes To Move Clemency Hearings To McAlester

The Pardon and Parole Board hopes a new Department of Corrections executive director will be receptive to their request to move clemency hearings to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Interim Executive Director Tracy George reported Monday she recently had discussed the idea of moving the hearings from the Kate Barnard Community Corrections Center in Oklahoma City to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Death row inmates are housed and executed at the maximum security facility in McAlester.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:41 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Corrections Board Looks at Expanding Use of Private Prison Beds

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections is looking at three options to deal with overcrowding at the state’s prison facilities: expanding public prisons, contracting for more private-prison beds, and buying or leasing one of the state’s two empty private prisons.

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Corrections
1:37 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Oklahoma Corrections Board Seeks New Prisons Boss

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections this week is interviewing candidates who want to be the next director of the state's prison system.

The seven-member board planned to interview potential candidates Wednesday during a special meeting at DOC headquarters. The board also is planning additional interviews Thursday before its regular meeting.

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Growing Prison Population
4:29 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Department Of Corrections Looking For Increase In Budget

Credit Asianz / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is seeking an additional $31.5 million in next year's budget to help manage the state's growing prison population.

With the increase, the agency is seeking about $495 million in funding for fiscal year 2015. The department says the money would be used to pay for a growing number of offenders who are placed in private prisons.

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Corrections
9:40 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Oklahoma AG: Pardon And Parole Board Can Continue Considering More Crimes Violent

Credit mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

The Pardon and Parole Board can continue its practice of treating some offenders’ crimes as violent even though the offenses are not included in two statutory lists of violent crimes, board members were informed Monday.

Tracy George, Pardon and Parole Board interim executive director, said a recent attorney general’s opinion reaffirmed the practice of treating some crimes as violent although they are not among the violent offenses listed in statute.

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Prisons
9:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Why North Carolina Is Putting Fewer People Behind Bars As Oklahoma's Prison Population Climbs

Oklahoma's inmate population continues to climb despite efforts to reduce the number of resdients behind bars.
Oklahoma Watch

Several years ago, legislators in both Oklahoma and North Carolina began taking steps to address rising incarceration rates.

The number of incarcerated offenders in Oklahoma had increased by a few thousand inmates in the past decade, giving the state one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the nation.

The prison population was growing at a similar pace in North Carolina, and officials were expecting an additional 10 percent increase by 2020.

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