A DAY in the life…
By Mike Carpenter
...first thing is THERE IS NO DAY
A correctional officer (CO) doesn’t view a day the same as you or I. In many facilities and many posts the work day starts and ends at irregular times. And, of course, there are many assignments that may start at a regular time... but usually never end at a regular time.
A CO never knows for sure that his/her day, night, or evening will be a normal day. The definition of day gets all wonky but the definition of week does also. A CO’s Monday may not have anything to do with Monday; it may be a Thursday or a Sunday. It often has little to do with a regular work week either. You and I look forward to Friday all week long, but a CO may look forward to Tuesday. So a CO doesn’t get a day in the life of...; he may get a shift in the life of... or several shifts in the life of.... COs are known at every facility to be willing to come in and stay in until their service is relieved by another. That may be eight hours or eighteen. That may be five days in a row or eleven.
The real deal stuff for a CO does not even start on the day they go to work. For most the day starts the night before (remember, some CO’s night starts at 8 o’clock in the morning). The brass has to be polished, the shoes shined, equipment prepared, plans laid for what time to report for transport duty, the stuff it takes to do a good job and look good doing it. This work is as important to a CO as what occurs after they arrive at a facility. It sets the tone and defines the seriousness with which they treat the rest of their duties. Many CO’s see this prep work as the most important work they do. Often, in sports circles, it’s called putting on your game face.
Once this important work is done the next step is often finding the phone and making sure it’s near and working. As an agency we depend on our COs willingness to answer the phone and report to the facility when there’s the barest hint of an emergency. Their willingness to do so provides confidence to others working inside the facility that help is but a phone call away. Additionally, as managers, we are dependent on that willingness because we couldn’t hire enough folks to live without it. We simply couldn’t afford it. Finally, and this is the last thing on this subject, the offenders are dependent on this willingness also. They know that CO's will come to work and do whatever is necessary to restore order. One hour of sleep or ten, an officer will respond.
As if the phone ringing wasn’t bad enough there is something worse; the alarm clock. A CO is just like everybody else. Nobody wants to hear the alarm clock in the morning. If you think it’s bad at 6:00 a.m. you should hear it at 10:45 p.m. for six months or a year. The alarm clock is a mortal enemy when you’re on shift. It just isn’t fair that it goes off at all. It’s especially unfair if you’ve only been in bed for three or four hours. If there was any true justice in the world the alarm clock manufacturers would have to build some consideration into their devices.
A quick note here about short sleep cycles. It’s easy to assume that the only time an officer’s sleep cycle is short is when they work double shifts. This is a surprising fact for many but the truth is that the real cost comes from trying to juggle work and family life. In order to provide as normal a family life as possible COs will stay up late, get up early, split their sleep cycle, and go without sleep all together. Family is important to all of us and being able to eat with your family or be at the places important to them means officers will do whatever is necessary. For officers, this juggling creates some real challenges and sleep is what often suffers the most.
Once up, dressed, and on the way another transformation takes place. The best of officers are able to transition from family provider to offender manager easily, some struggle and, sometimes, a few fail. This transformation is not just about officers as it happens with all correctional staff but the difference is that officers have to also shoulder the very real possibility of physical violence. This is a very real piece of the COs duties. We all understand the danger of working around offenders but for CO’s it’s just a little different. They have to put on a different game face because they may be sent to do this difficult duty. Being sent is a very different proposition than just being expected to react. Preparing to be sent happens before you arrive. It must… the officer is expected to be ready from the first minute to the last.
Now we can talk about the part of the day that we all see and know. The day of a CO we all see starts with a shift briefing. This is actually the first of several “shift briefings” an officer will have in a normal work day. The first is actually a “previous shift briefing” in which the officer learns of the occurrences of the past several hours or days. There’s a roll call and a post assignment involved, and a few cudo’s or “don’t do that’s” to get out of the way. Information flows pretty fast so you have to pay attention or risk missing the thing you needed to know the most. The most important piece of information is different for each officer. The post you work on and who you work with makes the information you need different. Tons of information is exchanged in a good shift briefing but, if you watch from outside, it appears pretty boring.
Then… a flood. Officers seem to be everywhere. Every door you walk up to has officers jamming the system. They are here, there, and everywhere. Then, just as you think there’s no room for any more, they’re all gone. It really is amazing that it takes so many but you see so few during the regular work day. Officers are so spread out throughout the facility that you often don’t know just how many are actually around. Watch a shift briefing exodus someday… it’ll amaze you that there are so many and so few.
Then, another briefing as soon as the officer arrives on post. This is a little more post specific. Who’s here and who ain’t. Who’s coming and who’s not. Unit Manager issues, offender issues, equipment issues, stuff that happened last night, or this morning, or yesterday, stuff that’s going to happen. Stuff that might not happen but we need to be ready for it anyway… You know, “STUFF.”
Finally, the routine. Log in the book and inventory post equipment and log that. Log in the book, count, log in the book again. Search a cell or three, log in the book again. Open the unit gate, close the unit gate, log in the book again. Count, log, search, log, open, log, close, log. And… if that weren’t enough, supervise unit orderlies, maintain the cleanliness of the unit, rove around to maintain order and see what’s going on. Work on interdiction activities with your shift. Work on interdiction activities with your unit, work on “Stuff” the Chief thought would be a good idea, and when time allows develop your own information to add to the intelligence of the facility.
When you can find the time you can eat a bite, take care of any personnel business, and try to keep the personal life operating while on post. This is another issue that CO’s contend with that’s a little different. Depending on what the shift of the moment is, you could find yourself dispensing homework advice or dating advice over the phone. Family life is important and officers always look for ways to be involved while maintaining a good post watch. Especially as children get older because their lives are so “right now” they often cannot “wait till Dad or Mom gets home.”
At the end of all that the typical officer will check on the needs of following shifts, write any reports necessary, and try to get out the door. Trying to “get out the door” is often the most challenging part of the end of the day. Some folks bolt hoping to get gone before “IT” can happen. Some linger, hoping that when “IT” happens nobody will know where they are. Some just stroll nonchalantly hoping that “IT” won’t see them. “IT” is whatever emergency that starts right at the end of the day. “IT” is a pain because folks have already taken their game face off and made plans to be at home with the family (or on the fishing bank with rod and reel). Even if “IT” doesn’t find you, getting out the door can still take a while. Watch a shift leaving sometime. You’ll see all the people described above plus a few not mentioned.
This is the deal. The officer getting out the door doesn’t stop the day. After a while on the job you realize that you always carry some part of it home with you. The worries and the concerns become part of your life. The trick is meshing them with home so they don’t take over. Then, there’s always prep for tomorrow. Polish the brass, shine the shoes, and prepare the equipment…?
Meet the Correctional Officers – Part One
Corr. Security Officer IV
Bill Johnson CC (BJCC)
Wayne Mehagan began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at BJCC in July 2004. He currently holds the position of Drill Instructor and is responsible for the 118 beds of the High Structure Unit at BJCC. He serves as a mentor and coach for the CSO III Drill Instructor assigned and coordinates their efforts to instruct the trainees in proper marching, how to maintain inspection ready lockers, personal appearance, and discipline. Discipline is the core goal of this military style of training, and instills in each trainee a sense of pride and accomplishment that prepares them with the tools they need to meet the goals and objectives they set when entering the Main Treatment phase of the Regimented Treatment Program. Wayne is an active member of BJCC CERT and is the facility’s instructor in Chemical and Inflammatory Agents. He is also the back-up sniper. Wayne is able to combine his military experience with that of a correctional officer in both programmatic and tactical ways that enhance the facility as a whole.
Sgt. Mehagan believes the best part of his job comes months after the trainees have been promoted off the high structure unit, or maybe even months after they discharge their sentence when he hears that they are doing well and the tools they received from this program made a difference for them in a positive way. When not at work, he is an avid reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books. He also enjoys the outdoors and loves camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing.
Jon Christopher Marzett
Corr. Security Officer III
Dick Conner CC (DCCC)
Jon Christopher Marzett began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on October 18, 2010 at DCCC.
Corporal Marzett is currently assigned as the kitchen officer and does an outstanding job maintaining safety, security and sanitation in the facility kitchen and dining hall. He works diligently to prevent theft from the kitchen by performing thorough pat searches and area searches, to ensure safe food handling procedures are followed, tool and equipment accountability procedure are a priority and performs all duties at a very high level.
Corporal Marzett has a great attitude and is prepared to face the unique challenges of the corrections industry. He is very proud to be part of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Honor Guard and the DCCC CERT.
In his spare time, CorporalMarzett enjoys fishing, bowling, billiards, chess, sports, working out, swimming, reading, watching movies and being active in his community.
Corr. Security Officer IV
Eddie Warrior CC (EWCC)
Melissa Winner began her career with the EWCC on November 19, 2001. Sgt. Winner is a transport officer for EWCC where her duties include transporting offenders to hospital visits, court hearings, funerals, bedside visits and transfers to other facilities. Along with the duties of transporting offenders, She ensures that regular and routine maintenance is performed on her transport vehicle. Her responsibilities are to protect the public as well as the offenders by following policy and procedure and ensuring that her transports operate as smoothly as possible.
Sgt. Winner states that she enjoys working with fellow officers from other facilities. She takes pride in her job and says she doesn’t mind working the odd hours because she enjoys her job and what she does. Her motto is to “Lead by example so others will want to follow.” She states there is always something new and challenging as a transport officer.
Sgt. Winner’s hobbies include listening to music, bowling, movies and family cookouts. She loves watching her son play high school football.
Corr. Security Officer IV
Howard McLeod CC (HMCC)
Brad Bell started his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections on June 28, 2004. He is currently assigned to supervise a PPWP crew for the Department of Transportation. The job duties of the crew include patching and repairing roadways in Atoka County utilizing concrete and asphalt. The crew also works keeping the right of ways free from trash and weeds. Brad is also a master level staff trainer for self defense.
Brad says that he enjoys teaching offenders how to finish concrete and also teaching the safe use of chainsaws and other equipment utilized by the crew. He feels that he is helping offenders acquire skills that can be used upon release.
During his free time, Brad says that he enjoys raising cattle and horses, hunting, fishing, rodeo, and teaching others in these areas.
Corr. Security Officer IV
Jackie Brannon CC (JBCC)
Sergeant J.R. Robertson is currently assigned as the Medical Transport Officer at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center. He began his career as a Temp in October of 2005. He was selected as a permanent hire in January 2006 and promoted to CSO II in July of that same year. He then promoted to CSO III/Corporal in April of 2007. In December of 2008, he achieved his current position as Sergeant.
As Medical Transport Officer, Sergeant Robertson is responsible for taking offenders to outside medical providers to receive evaluations, treatment or surgical procedures that otherwise cannot be provided at the facility level. This officer must be prepared for any number of issues that can arise while transporting offenders who often are sick, hurting or frustrated. Bio-hazard bags, post-op nausea and semi-conscious patients are just a few obstacles that the Medical Transport Officer may face on a daily basis. When not working with medical trips, Sgt. Robertson also transports offenders to funeral services, bedside visits and court trips. On the occasions when transportation duties are not required, he works as a unit officer and/or fills any other security position as needed. In addition to his regular duties, he also serves as Chairperson on the JBCC Employee Council Committee.
Sergeant Robertson enjoys the ‘camaraderie’ that he shares with his co-workers. In his off time, he enjoys anything to do with his kids. His children include a nephew who has lived with he and his wife since the age of four. He loves sports, hunting, fishing, and spent 20 years as a volunteer for the local Boys and Girls Club.
Corr. Security Officer IV
James Crabtree CC (JCCC)
Sergeant David Curry began his career on November 23, 1994.
The current shift rotation has Sgt. Curry assigned to the post of west gate officer. In this post, he is responsible for offender counts, fence and lock checks, stopping any offender in an attempt to escape, has control of contraband and tools entering the facility, and maintaining logbooks. He uses the Avion Heart Beat Detector on each vehicle exiting the west gate and is responsible for checking vehicles, visitors, staff and offenders entering or leaving the west gate.
Sgt. Curry enjoys his assignment to the west gate for the variety of tasks he performs daily. He appreciates the confidence his supervisors have in his ability to make decisions regarding the daily operation of his post. Controlling the points of entry is a critical post at all secure facilities, but Sgt. Curry states he "just does his job" and goes home to his wife and three stepchildren.
Sgt. Curry has a secondary job where he hauls Crude Oil for Native American Marketing. Curry has also volunteered for the Carmen Fire Department for the past 17 years. Sgt. Curry served in the U.S. Navy for 6 years and completed Computer Repair School at Canadian Valley Vo-Tech. He enjoys fishing, hunting, camping and an annual cruise with his family. He is known for his leadership, professionalism, and dependability.
Corr. Security Officer IV
Jess Dunn CC (JDCC)
Sgt. Bethany Rhyne has worked for the Department of Corrections at JDCC for approximately four years. During this time, she has worked on all shifts and on all units. For the past two years, she has been assigned to the visiting room and as a K-9 handler for one year.
In the visiting room, Sgt. Rhyne works the front desk where she greets an average of 150-200 visitors each visiting day, which at JDCC is every weekend and all state holidays. The visiting room officers at JDCC serve an important role in the security of the facility while also representing the Department to the public in a positive manner. She reviews the offender’s approved visiting list to ensure the visitors are approved to visit, ensures visitors are signed in and out and submits appropriate identification, pat searches visitors and screens them with a metal detector. She also monitors the visiting room and visiting yard as visits are occurring to ensure visiting rules are being observed, and is responsible for supervising the visiting room orderlies and maintaining sanitation in the area.
As one of the K-9 handlers, Sgt. Rhyne and her dog Vincent, conduct random screenings for the detection of narcotics in all areas of the facility, including offenders, work crews, mailroom, vehicles and the warehouse, and they participate in facility shakedowns. Currently, she is the lead K-9 handler at JDCC and is responsible for the care of the K-9’s on a daily basis. She also monitors the health and physical well-being of the K-9’s, maintains their health records, grooms and exercises the dogs, and cleans the kennels as well as conducts practice exercises and obedience training with them.
Sgt. Rhyne enjoys working with the dogs, as well as working in the visiting room and dealing with the public and offenders. She enjoys being a member of the facility CERT team. She takes pride in her job and says that it is satisfying to her to be a part of a team of officers who work hard to ensure the security of the facility. She attended Tulsa Community College and is currently attending Redlands Community College where she is majoring in Criminal Justice Administration.
Corr. Security Officer III
Jim E. Hamilton CC (JEHCC)
Bruce Kelley, JEHCC’s Compound Officer, is assigned as ground crew officer and supervises approximately 75 to 100 offenders each day, which includes accountability for the numerous tools and equipment in their possession. He is in charge of keeping the facility grounds manicured and looking its best. The facility sits on 140 acres in the middle of the Ouachita National Forest so there is a massive amount of upkeep to the grounds, which keeps him and the offenders busy. Duties of offenders under Officer Kelley include: raking leaves and composting them for the facility’s garden, mowing, weed eating, trimming trees and painting fences. His crew also utilizes old light poles and reuses them for fence posts at the facility. Trimmed tree limbs are debarked and are used as the fence rails. His crew also makes handles for tools such as shovels, axes, picks and hammers. These handles are made from donated ash logs provided by HMCC and are used by JEHCC. The surplus is distributed to HMCC and other facilities.
Officer Kelley has been at the facility since 2004 and has served three years in the US Army 101 st Airborne Division where he has received the following: Combat Infantry Badge, Jump Wings, Vietnam Campaign Metal and a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service, all while serving in the Vietnam War. He was also selected Officer of the Year in 2009 for JEHCC. What he likes most about his job at JEHCC is working outside and seeing the end result of the work accomplished by him and his crew. He also states that every day is a different challenge. While away from the facility, he enjoys riding his horse, raising cattle and spending time with his grandkids.
Officer Kelley always has the willingness and desire to assist and improve any project that he and his crew work on, whether it is working on the facility grounds or setting up for facility events. He has brought his leadership skills, professionalism and motivation to the job by earning the respect of staff and offenders. Officer Kelley has instilled in the offenders an attitude of hard work and a get the job done ethic that some offenders have never had.
Corr. Security Officer IV
Joseph Harp CC (JHCC)
Sergeant Clayton Bagley began his Oklahoma Department of Corrections career at Joseph Harp Correctional Center (JHCC) on January 14, 2008 as a cadet (Correctional Security Officer (CSO) I). He was promoted to his current rank of CSO IV (Sergeant) in July, 2010 and was named as JHCC’s “Correctional Officer of the Year” for 2010. Referred to as the Back Dock officer, Seargent Bagley is responsible for the supervision of the offender yard crews, and issuance of caustics to facility staff and tools to offender workers. He is responsible for the general sanitation of the facility compound and ball field which spans 80 acres of land.
Seargent Bagley appreciates his job and all that it entails, yet with the staff shortage, being in this position allows him to assist the shift; whether it is operating control room doors, working a housing unit, or assisting when a 10-33 (emergency) is broadcast over the radio. His current position also allows him to assist other areas of the facility; for example, he works with the Oklahoma Correctional Industries in their waste reduction efforts by assisting in the recycling process of cardboard and pallets. In addition, whenever necessary, he provides assistance to the Business Office, Maintenance Department, etc. by traveling to other facilities to procure supplies or pick up orders from outside vendors. These errands give him an opportunity to meet other DOC staff and the general public, which he enjoys very much.
Seargent Bagley is an active CERT member and one of the things he enjoys as a CERT member is volunteering his time and skills to assist rappellers in the Opening Ceremonies program for the Annual Special Olympics Summer Games. He is involved in Special Olympics fundraisers and eagerly participates in Polar Plunges and Tip-a-Cops. He also enjoys hunting and fishing, but most of all, he loves spending time with his family.
Corr. Security Officer III
Hillside CCC (HCCC)
James Haun began his career with the Department of Corrections July 17, 2001. He is currently a Lieutenant at the Hillside Community Corrections Center. His job responsibilities include facility Offender Property officer with duties to prepare monthly reports, conducting facility inspections and audits. He serves as Shift Supervisor with responsibilities for offender accountability, and duties to maintain log books, oversee facility grounds sanitation and to delegate yard assignments to Officers and yard crew offenders for completion.
Lieutenant Haun has been both a member of the Department of Corrections Honor Guard and a Lieutenant since 2008, having worked with both male and female offenders during his ten (10) year career. He ensures the officers he supervises are trained for the job they undertake and takes this task seriously making sure those he supervises are knowledgeable concerning departmental policy.
Lieutenant Haun's most positive attribute is his willingness to ensure shift coverage and his dedication to the facility. He enjoys working with people and the interactions with the offenders and staff, hoping he is able to make a positive change in someone’s life. He enjoys all family gatherings and activities in his free time. His hobbies are boating, motorcycles, horseback riding, skiing, running, weight lifting and any and all outdoor activities.
Corr. Security Officer IV
John Lilley CCC (JLCC)
Roy Moore began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at JLCC in December 1997. He has been working as the K-9 Officer for several years, and is also in charge of the contraband room.
Roy's job duties include the use of K-9's to limit the introduction of contraband into the facility and physical plant. He also assists in the apprehension of escapee's. Roy routinely walks his K-9's through housing units searching common areas and offender cells for illegal substances. He says that he "enjoys working with the dogs, and making a difference within the facility and community." When he is not at work, Roy enjoys hunting, hunting and hunting...
The highlight of Roy's career came on October 19, 2011 when he was asked to assist in the search for a 4 year old boy who was reported as missing from his home in the rural community of Bowlegs. Roy drove the roads and shouted the boy's name. After hearing a dog bark, he exited the vehicle to find the child behind a brush pile. There were over 90 law enforcement officials involved in the search.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections extends our sympathy and condolences to the family of Nathan Pahukoa, Honor Guard Commander from the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center, who passed away April 28, 2012. Commander Pahukoa was pleased to be included in this edition.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections HONOR GUARD
Within the Department of Corrections is an elite group of officers not often spoken of but very often called upon. They have been recognized for their abilities in drill and ceremony. Their dedication and devotion is evident by their availability and willingness to respond on a moment’s notice. This elite group of officers is the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Honor Guard.
The Honor Guard renders honors and courtesies at DOC ceremonies, funerals of current and retired employees as requested by family members, and other occasions as authorized by the Director. Being a member of the Honor Guard is an honor within itself. Members are called upon frequently by the department to honor fellow employees in a position of respect. This occasion is of a solemn nature and difficult, however it is the last final act of respect we as a department can provide to a fellow employee.
The services that the Honor Guard offers to family members who have lost a loved one include posting at the funeral as well as the folding and presentation of the flag at the gravesite. The picture the Honor Guard presents for the lost loved one’s family and friends is a precious memory for many as evidenced by the thank you cards, notes, and calls received from the families. The presence of the Honor Guard has a positive effect in a difficult time of life.
The Honor Guard has posted colors at numerous events such as conferences, ceremonies and facility anniversaries. On April 20, 2011 five Honor Guard members were selected to participate in the posting of colors at the Oklahoma Correctional Employees Memorial Foundation memorial service in Oklahoma City. The participating members were Nathan Pahukoa, Kevin Angel, David Edelman, Travis Ary, and Benjamin Williams. Their professionalism and outstanding performance did not go unnoticed by the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation (CPOF). As a result they were invited by CPOF to participate in the Annual National Memorial Ceremony Project 2000 XXII at the historic Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, in June 2011. Project 2000 XXII is a four day gathering of and for correctional personnel from across the United States. The highlight of every Project is the CPOF’s National Memorial Ceremony for correctional personnel that have died in the line of duty in the preceding year. What an honor for Oklahoma to have representation at this ceremony honoring the fallen officers of the year 2010 who gave their lives protecting society. The members did not just attend the ceremony; they participated in the ceremony with Honor Guard’s from other states.
On November 4, 2011 two members joined in the birthday celebration of John Barrier, an officer who was severely injured in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary riot of 1973. This celebration took place at the Walnut Grove Living Center in McAlester with friends and family of Mr. Barrier. The members presented a flag to Mr. Barrier that had been flown in his honor as a veteran of the armed services. Members participating were Kevin Angel and Travis Showalter.
On January 28, 2012 the Honor Guard traveled to Marianna, Arkansas for the funeral of Sergeant Barbara Ester, an Arkansas Correctional Officer who was killed in the line of duty on January 20, 2012. The members offered support by directing traffic and posting at the funeral services. They were joined by Honor Guards from the states of Arkansas, Michigan, South Dakota, and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation. Members who participated were Nathan Pahukoa, Travis Ary, Alex Lauderdale and Benjamin Williams.
HONOR GUARD MEMBERS
Sergeant Nathan Pahukoa, Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center
Lieutenant Kevin Angel, Howard McLeod Correctional Center
Sergeant David Edelman, Lexington Correctional Center
Conan Jackson – Central Transportation Unit
Jon Marzett – Dick Conner Correctional Center
Alex Lauderdale – Eddie Warrior Correctional Center
James Haun – Hillside Community Correctional Center
Michael Morelli – Howard McLeod Correctional Center
Kacy Hallows – Howard McLeod Correctional Center
Andrea Jordan – James Crabtree Correctional Center
Kevin Jones – Jess Dunn Correctional Center
Ross Hash – Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center
Travis Ary – Joseph Harp Correctional Center
Cody Simmons – Joseph Harp Correctional Center
Benjamin Williams – Internal Affairs
Christian Mitchell – Lexington Correctional Center
Michael Whomble – Lexington Correctional Center
Catlin Holmes – Mabel Bassett Correctional Center
Phillip Carey – Mabel Bassett Correctional Center
Jarett Krueger – Mabel Bassett Correctional Center
Travis Showalter – Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Robert Ross – Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Angelica Padilla – Oklahoma State Reformatory
Brian Boatman – Union City Community Corrections Center
Mark Crawford – Joseph Harp Correctional Center
Being a part of the Department of Corrections Honor Guard requires professional values, honor, integrity, respect, loyalty and selfless service. Their representation of the department requires appearance and demeanor of a professional nature that reflects the above stated values. The Honor Guards’ professionalism and dedication to the cause always comes together as they look sharp and stand tall.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR HONOR GUARD
Institutions, community corrections centers, and probation and parole districts may be represented in the Honor Guard. To qualify for the Honor Guard members
• must volunteer
• have completed at least one year of service with the department of corrections
• have body weight in proportion to body height
• be available on short notice to perform in Honor Guard functions
• possess a high level of integrity and job proficiency
• maintain physical appearance and decorum which promotes confidence and projects a professional public image
• have received no formal disciplinary action in the last year
• must have met or exceeded all standards on the most recent employee performance appraisal.
Being recommended is indicative of the high caliber of officer the employee is.
An interview is not the final deciding factor on whether an employee is selected for the Honor Guard team. The prospective member will be required to successfully complete their first training with meets standards in performing basic marching and movements of basic drill and ceremony. Members must possess the ability to perform with a team.
All members train semi-annually to ensure all of the basic marching and movements of basic drill and ceremony are kept current. This training is intense with many long hours of grueling marching practice and drills. Areas of training include drill commands, position of attention, present arms, order arms, parade rest, executions, and marching. The members take this training very seriously and their performances are evidence of their professionalism and dedication.
Cost of Incarceration
by Jason Bryant, Case Manager IV, Bill Johnson Correctional Center
In 2011, the total direct cost for incarcerating offenders annually in the State of Oklahoma was $372,053,156.  Of those offenders in Oklahoma State facilities, 94% of those offenders are going to be released from DOC custody within 5 years  and return to their communities and neighborhoods, but unfortunately many do not make the correct decisions and return to DOC facilities. In Oklahoma, 24% of released offenders are re-incarcerated, and at an annual cost of $14,858 per offender , these returning offenders become a troublesome burden for Oklahoma taxpayers.
The Regimented Treatment Program (RTP) at the Charles E. “Bill” Johnson Correctional Center (BJCC) was developed to be innovative in providing treatment and education to these incarcerates so that their decision making in the future will help curb the increasing social problem of people in prisons and people returning to prisons.
The primary mission of the RTP is to provide a comprehensive regimented substance-abuse treatment program for minimum-security offenders. Our primary programmatic mission is to provide education, while reducing recidivism of the drug offender establishing a safe, structured correctional environment conducive to positive behavior changes.
BJCC is the only dedicated treatment facility of the seventeen facilities operated by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The RTP is designed to address the assessed criminogenic needs of many offenders. Cognitive behavior counseling, substance abuse treatment, education, reintegration and reentry services, therapeutic community, and work provided in a structured setting are core components of every offenders program. These core treatment components are supplemented by numerous ancillary programs offered by staff, volunteers and offender peer counselors. Prisons throughout the United States have traditionally provided programs, when resources are available, that try to reduce the number of offenders who return again to the prison system. Those programs typically address one or two issues facing the offender, i.e., treatment, reentry, or education. The Regimented Treatment Program has changed previous practice by addressing many of the significant factors that have been assessed as being a risk to an offender’s success, not just one issue.
From July 2008 to July 2011, 922 offenders completed RTP and were placed on supervision or discharged. Of the 922 that were released from incarceration, 83 have been re-incarcerated which means 839 are thus far successful and remain living in the community revealing a 91% success rate. Those offenders that successfully completed RTP and have successfully remained in their communities and neighborhoods during this time would have cost Oklahoma Department of Corrections approximately $683,468 annually if they had returned to prison. 
The cost of incarcerating offenders is staggering. The Regimented Treatment program at BJCC is a great example of ensuring tax dollars are utilized wisely and efficiently, thus decreasing prison populations and ensuring our communities are safe.?
 Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Total Cost to State. www.doc.state.ok.us
 Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Corrections News and Research. www.doc.state.ok.us
 Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Facts about Oklahoma Prison Recidivism. www.doc.state.ok.us
 Oklahoma Department of Corrections. 2011 Bill Johnson Correctional Center Recidivism Report
Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center (JEHCC) Volunteer Based Reading Program
JEHCC educational department is using a reading intervention program which supplements the GED instruction for the offenders. The material in this program builds fluency and supports comprehension and vocabulary growth for offenders with reading deficiencies. Program Volunteer, Barbara Tyson Ed.D., has worked diligently with Diane Adams, GED teacher, at establishing and implementing this program at JEHCC. A computer-assisted program is being used to assist volunteers and tutors in instructing offenders in this program.
Large classes and numerous offenders with special reading needs who require explicit and intensive reading instruction overwhelm many educational instructors. Therefore, teachers/instructors and volunteers are able to provide more individualized assistance to more offenders with the use of the computer-assisted program.
Ms. Tyson has been very instrumental in volunteering her time and expertise in implementing this program. She is certified to administer the GED exam and has volunteered her valuable time at the facility for numerous years.
Pam Humphrey, Superintendent of Schools for the Department of Corrections, provided consultation and guidance as this program continues.
NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA CORRECTIONAL CENTER (NOCC) Black History Month
Division of Community Corrections Deputy Director, Reginald Hines visited NOCC and gave a presentation for Black History Month.
Today’s Struggles for Tomorrow’s Success was the theme for Mr. Hines’ presentation as he spoke to the NOCC’s staff members. Mr. Hines asked the question, “What will people remember us for?” The difference we make in the hearts and lives of those we’ve come across is what we should judge to be our success.
He went on to remind us of the rich heritage that all of African Americans have inherited and the culture and history that Black History Month carries with it. It teaches all African Americans to carry within themselves the memory of the journey and to remind them that they are evidence of the success of that journey.
Mr. Hines spoke of those African Americans without whom this country would never have become the land of the free and the home of the brave. People like Booker T. Washington, who represented the last generation of black leaders born into slavery, who inspired African Americans to develop economic skills and Douglas Wilder, the first African American elected Governor of Virginia, the former capital state of the Confederacy.
It was the tremendous sacrifices, struggles and suffering of millions of African Americans that made the largest difference in the fight for equality and justice and arguably the largest difference in the history of African Americans in our country. America is great because of the journey of our people and our progress is evidence of that journey, a journey that has taken decades to travel along miles upon miles of history’s highways.
Mr. Hines also reminded us that our diversity is our greatest strength. He quoted Frederick Douglass, speaking to whites and blacks alike, who stated 160 years ago, “Remember that we are one, that our cause is one, and that we must help each other, if we would succeed.”
In closing Mr. Hines wanted us to never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic, because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes way from you. Turn a deaf ear when people tell you that you cannot fulfill your dreams.