Welcome, to the now quarterly version of Inside Corrections. As many of you are aware the department has cut back expenses in many areas to include publications. Director’s updates will continue to advise you on how the department has responded to each round of budget reductions mandated by revenue shortfalls. This article is being written in the first week of October and another shortfall is expected to be announced next week. Probation and parole services are a very appropriate theme for this version of Inside Corrections. In all states the vast majority of offenders are under community supervision. So even though much public and political interest is directed toward institutional corrections, probation and parole is an integral partner in the overall operations and success of our agency. The largest number of prison receptions in most states comes from probation and parole violators whether they are from technical violations that result in revocation or receiving new charges while on supervision. With the advent and implementation of evidenced based supervision Oklahoma has been able to be a national leader in reducing new prison receptions from the aforementioned revocations. California has the highest revocation rate at 60%. The average for states is around 36%. Our sex offender community supervision containment model has been a key contributor and is a good example of providing optimal public safety through community supervision. Another advantage of our probation and parole system is that it is totally integrated under the Department of Corrections which allows for a one file system, the same automated off ender management system, shared resources and a continuation of services as off enders enter and leave our system. The shared resources are extremely valuable during these recessionary times. Accolades go out to all who work in probation and parole as job demands increase and resources become more limited. Their ability to work in grey areas and make many interpretive decisions will become more valuable to the overall agency.
Linda Neal was born in Elk City, Oklahoma, and lived there until graduating from high school. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. In 1974 Linda married Larry Neal in Lawton where they now reside and own the J.T. Neal Insurance Agency. She is a member of Centenary United Methodist Church where she has worked with several children programs, sings in the choir and serves on the Administrative Board. Linda has volunteered in many ways, serving on the boards of Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, American Cancer Society, Lawton Junior Service League, Teen Court, Lawton Country Club, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Lawton Public Schools Foundation and Parent Teacher Association. Additionally, she is an active member of P.E.O., a philanthropic women’s organization, serving as State President in 2005-2006. She is presently chairman of the Lawton/ Ft. Sill United Way Campaign. Linda is the mother of three children: Lori Bowman, federal government aff airs for Hospira; Lindsay Neal, pharmaceutical sales for Sanofi Aventis; and Lane Neal, Assistant District Attorney for Oklahoma County. Linda’s favorite activities are needle pointing, reading, knitting, playing the piano, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Lee Fairchild, a case manager/Friends For Folks coordinator, qualified and recently competed in the Disc Dog World Championships held in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 26 – 27, 2009. Dogs and handlers from the USA, Canada, Hungary, Germany and Japan competed. In order to qualify a handler and dog team must place in the top four of their respective region. Lee qualifi ed with two dogs. His dog Dora, a three year old Australian Shepherd, qualifi ed in the Distance Accuracy portion of the competition which means that the further a handler throws a frisbee the more points are garnered up to 50 yards. Lee and Dora placed 14th in this division. Lee and his other dog, Gracie, qualifi ed in two events. She is a small dog (under 16 inches) so she qualifi ed to compete in the Micro-Dog category and was also qualifi ed for Open/Expert, which includes any size dog. Gracie and Lee competed in Freestyle which meant the teams had two minutes of time to do a series of tricks and vaults with the frisbee. Gracie placed 14th in the Open/ Expert division and was 4th in the world in the Micro Dog division. This was the highest placing in the South-Central region by any of the competitors. Al Ericson from San Diego, California won the division followed by Japan, Germany and then Lee from the USA.
Th e Correctional Training Academy in Wilburton hosted a graduation ceremony on August 13, 2009 for Correctional Officer Cadet Class W070609. Lenora Hudson, Deputy Warden, John Lilley Correctional Center, was the graduation speaker. The 20 cadets in this class successfully completed the required 240 hours of pre-service instruction. Nine different facilities ranging from maximum security to community security had students in W070609. The staff of the Correctional Training Academy in Wilburton would like to commend the class of W070609 on a job well done and wish them the best of luck in their careers with DOC.
AWARD RECIPIENTS Kara Painter Oklahoma State Penitentiary Academic Award
David Brush Union City CCC Class Speaker
Eric Sofi an Dick Conner CC Outstanding Performance
CLEET GRADUATION – OCTOBER 6, 2009 Th e Correctional Training Academy in Wilburton hosted a graduation ceremony on October 6, 2009 for CLEET Basic Academy WC062209. Kendall Ballew, Chief Agent of the Fugitive/Warrants Unit and Southeastern Region Investigations Supervisor, was the graduation speaker. Th e 26 correctional offi cers and 16 probation & parole offi cers in this class successfully completed the required 600 hours of instruction. One Correctional Offi cer completed the 100 hour refresher course. Twenty-two diff erent facilities and districts ranging in security level from maximum security to community security had students in WC062209. Th e staff of the Correctional Training Academy would like to commend the Class of WC062209 on a job well done and wish them the best of luck in their careers with DOC.
AWARD RECIPIENTS Jody Randall Central District CC Academic Award
Monica Alexander Mack Alford CC Class Speaker
David Spears Oklahoma State Penitentiary Outstanding Performance Custody Control
Markus Woods Oklahoma State Penitentiary Outstanding Performance Firearms
In an effort to help support area volunteer fire departments, JCCC has extended a helping hand by offering the services/labor of offenders in the auto mechanics department. With the fire departments supplying all the necessary materials, the offenders along with their supervisors, Bryon Mathis, Auto Mechanics Supervisor, and Barney Laird, Maintenance Supervisor, set about restoring these vehicles. #1 - Three vehicles belonging to the Helena Fire Department. #2 (before and after) - This 1933 Ford Model A with the original flathead four cylinder engine belongs to the Aline Volunteer Fire Department. The wood flooring is the original factory flooring that was re-furbished. This firetruck has 1,232 original miles on it and was driven to the shop. Not pictured is a fire truck for the Goltry Volunteer Fire Department which was also restored by the JCCC Auto Mechanics Shop.
JCCC’s team received a Governor’s
Commendation for Excellence
(44 out of the 65 teams attending
received this award). Th e team was
further honored to receive the Extra
Mile Specialty Award (only fi ve teams
received specialty awards), so this
was a huge thrill for the team. Th e
team received these awards for their
eff orts in improving recruitment and
reducing turnover. Th e Task Force
was formed in June 2006. Th eir goals
were, and continue to be, streamlining
the recruitment and hiring process
and improving retention. Th ey
tackled the problem quite aggressively.
All committee members attended
many diff erent community events
on their own time in an eff ort
to create an awareness of the
employment opportunities at JCCC.
Representatives manned booths at
tractor pulls, threshing bees, county
fairs, Oktoberfests, birding and cheese
festivals, and other various locales.
After each event, they met to discuss
the results, and over time focused on
those venues that served them best.
Th ey continue to attend every job fair
available in the region.
Th e Task Force is committed to“thinking outside of the box” in
to maximize our assets. Some of their
most successful eff orts include:
• Th ey have designed a recruitment post card, which describes the steps applicants must take in order to be considered for employment. Th e back of the card briefl y describes state benefi ts as well as available positions at JCCC. All members of the task force, as well as many other staff members, carry these cards at all times. Th ey have distributed these cards while shopping, fi lling up at the pump, at their children’s ball games, and many other places.
• Th ey maintain a supply of recruitment packets for distribution to applicants. Th e packet contains information about the state application process, our internal application and background investigation process, job descriptions, and state benefi ts.
• Observation at job fairs showed that the booths off ering giveaways were more popular. Since the Task Force has no budget to speak of, they have held fundraisers in order to purchase items for distribution to potential applicants at job fairs. Th eir fi rst fund-raiser, a silent auction, raised $222, which allowed them to purchase 550 pens imprinted with JCCC’s contact information. Th ey have held a second silent auction, which had similar good results, and will employ other means of fund-raising in order to continue the booth giveaway program. An added bonus of the silent auctions is the positive interaction between staff members. Highly prized items will spark good-natured competition in bidding, which benefi ts the Task Force fi nancially.
• Th e Task Force designed a PowerPoint presentation specifi cally targeting positions available at JCCC. Th is eyecatching video also highlights various departments at JCCC and describes in detail the benefi ts available to staff . Th e video is updated continuously to refl ect an accurate picture of our hiring needs. Th e team is proud that this video won an Honorable Mention in the Department of Corrections recent contest for recruitment ideas.
In addition to the activities listed above,
the Task Force has developed a strong
partnership with the Enid Oklahoma
Employment Securities Commission
(OESC) offi ces. Members of the Task
Force hold a “mini” job fair at the
OESC offi ce on the fi rst Monday of
each month. Joy Blakely and Barbara
Ewert of OESC have been especially
helpful in determining the best times
for these monthly events. Th ey reported
that the fi rst of the month sees more
traffi c in their offi ce, and Mondays are
the most active day of the week. Th ese
monthly job fairs have provided the
Task Force an opportunity to meet
directly with applicants, which is more
successful than impersonal phone
conversations or mailings. Another
element of their partnership with
OESC has been the opportunity to
present recruitment information at
OESC’s mandatory Unemployment
Orientation Training, usually once a
month. Th e team is currently workingwith OESC to design future
workshops spotlighting employment
opportunities at JCCC.
Th e Task Force Chair maintains
membership on the North Central
Oklahoma Workforce Initiative
Board (NCOWIB). Th is has been
invaluable in terms of networking
and awareness of job fairs. Th e
NCOWIB sponsors the Chair’s
attendance at the annual National
Association of Workforce Boards
Forum in Washington, DC.
Information from those meetings
has enhanced the Task Force’s
eff orts to target specifi c groups of
Th e Task Force has designed a
bulletin board spotlighting new
staff members and the current
Employee of the Month. Th ey also
publish a monthly facility newsletter
consisting ONLY of upbeat news
about the staff and the facility as a
whole. Th eir philosophy is based on
the concept that developing a sense
of family will increase employee
loyalty, which in turn improves
Turnover rates for the critical security positions and the facility as a whole dropped signifi cantly from 2006 through 2008. Turnover in the security positions fell from 38% in 2006 to a steady 12% in both 2007 and 2008. Th e overall facility turnover rate dropped from 23% in 2006 to 11% in 2007, and then to 9% in 2008. Exits from the facility dropped from 22 in 2006 to 19 in both 2007 and 2008. In terms of savings to the facility, turnover costs for entry-level correctional offi cers alone have dropped from $144,649 in 2006 to $135,005 in 2007, resulting in a savings of $9644. Turnover costs dipped signifi cantly between 2007 and 2008, dropping from the $135,005 to $106,076, resulting in a savings of $28,929 in one year. Finally, the JCCC Recruitment Task Force was specifi cally mentioned in the recent DOC effi ciency audit as being “as impressive as any in the state.” Th e Task Force was also recognized by the Department for its exceptional work when all members were called to Oklahoma City to meet with high level managers to discuss all facets of our recruitment and retention program.
E-lists are the offi cial lists of qualifi ed applicants supplied to all agencies by the Offi ce of Personnel Management. Applicants on these E-lists increased from only three in both March and April 2008 to eight in October, nine in December, and ten in January 2009. Area unemployment dropped to 3% in late 2007-early 2008; rates hovered from 3% to just above 4% for the entire time span of 2006 through late 2008. Rates are approaching 5% now, but they are still at least two full percentage points below the national average. In spite of unemployment rates this low, JCCC increased new hires from 23 in 2007 to 26 in 2008. New hires for 2009 reached seven by mid-February, which was approximately one per week, until the hiring freeze was put in place. Th e applicant packet described above has allowed JCCC to streamline the process for most applicants. Backgrounds are usually completed prior to the applicants’ names appearing on OPM’s E-lists, reducing hiring time by up to two weeks. In some situations, JCCC hired an applicant on a temporary basis while the offi cial process continues. When the e-list was published, the employee’s status automatically changed from temporary to permanent. JCCC has used this particular process since 2007. Out of ten temporary hires, only one failed to attain permanent status.
Oklahoma’s Correctional Education Association
2009-2010 Teacher of the Year
In 1987, Ida Doyle graduated from Red Rock High School located in northern Oklahoma and went on to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where she received a Bachelor Degree in Education in 1992. Ms. Doyle began her teaching career at Boise City Public School (BCPS) in the fall of 1992, teaching biology, physical science, and physical education. She was also the head coach for all women’s sports (grades 7-12) while at BCPS. In 1993, she was hired as the head women’s coach and health teacher at Woodland Public School. She remained there until September 1996, at which time, she accepted the position of correctional offi cer with the Dick Conner Correctional Center (DCCC). She continued working as a correctional offi cer until August 1998, when she accepted a correctional teacher position at the facility. While teaching fulltime and raising two sons, Ms. Doyle returned to college and received a Master’s Degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Ms. Doyle currently provides literacy, ABE, and GED classes, oversees the leisure library, teaches life skills at the minimum security unit, and is an instructor for the facility teaching Cultural Diversity. She has been the College Coordinator for the facility since 2007. Th rough her eff orts, DCCC’s college program has grown and fl ourished. Ms. Doyle stays active in her community by volunteering as a coach in baseball and basketball youth programs (for the last ten years). Ms. Doyle believes education is a lifelong process and sees it as a positive infl uence in turning people’s lives around.
It was recently announced that a Department of Corrections employee, Robert
Jarrett, Principal, Education/Lexington Assessment
and Reception Center (LARC), was awarded a monetary award through the Productivity
Enhancement Program (PEP).
Mr. Jarrett researched the eligibility of the agency’s education unit
to receive the educational contract discount on the purchase of
Microsoft Offi ce software. He completed the paperwork to secure this designation
and then ordered the software. Th is resulted
in saving the agency $18,980 the fi rst year of implementation.
Th e legislatively mandated Incentive Awards for State Employees Committee
recently approved a cash award of $4,745 (25% of
the fi rst year savings) for Mr. Jarrett. He will be honored during a ceremony
at the State Capitol, in the Governor’s offi ce, at 3:30
p.m. on October 28, 2009.
Congratulations to Mr. Robert Jarrett on his PEP award!
If you would like further information on the Productivity Enhancement Program,
please refer to OP-110222, entitled, “Employee
Productivity Enhancement Program.”
Robert (Bob) Jarrett was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma and lived his fi rst six years in a very small lease house at Quay, an oil fi eld town just north of Yale. Th e house where his family lived had a tin roof and there was no running water. Bob’s family moved to Drumright where he graduated from high school. He was active in all sports, but was profi cient enough in basketball to earn a full four year scholarship to New Mexico State University. Th ere he earned a teacher’s certifi cate. After earning a Ph.D at Salt Lake City he worked as the only assistant principal at Grand Junction, Colorado, the largest high school between Denver and Salt Lake City. Moving back to Oklahoma in October of 1983, Bob went to work for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. He spent his fi rst 19 years as the principal at LARC before becoming appointed the regional principal for LARC, Joseph Harp Correctional Center (CC), and John Lilley CC. He was transferred to Mabel Bassett CC just before their move to McLoud and recently transferred back to LARC and Joseph Harp CC as site administrator. Favorite parts of Bob’s job are seeing students progress as students and on the outside after discharge, seeing teachers grow and watch as they come very, very profi cient, and meeting and getting to know people throughout the state. Bob states that he has been blessed with many great teachers while working for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and he hopes that he had a hand in that process. Bob has had many opportunities to contribute in unusual ways. He was in the original meeting (three men in a car on the way to the Oklahoma State Reformatory) discussing the addition of computers as tools for teaching; he organized the fi rst CSI class in a state prison at Mabel Bassett CC (CSI is a program to either repair or replace damaged or destroyed pathways in the brain and is taught by an inmate); and he drew the preliminary plans for an education and the wellness center at LARC, and the education centers at Mabel Bassett CC and Joseph Harp CC.
Oklahoma State Reformatory
One Hundred Years - 1909 – 2009
Kate Barnard, Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, reported that from 1905 to 1908, 60 boys, many under 16 years of age, had been sent to the Lansing Penitentiary in Kansas. Th is prompted Barnard and fellow reformers to make a case for a state reformatory. She articulated the need for such an institution in her annual reports to the governor and legislature. Samuel Flourney, later to become the fi rst warden of the reformatory, in a letter to Governor Haskell dated December 12, 1909, complained that southwestern Oklahoma was being discriminated against for not getting a reformatory and requested a $100,000 appropriation. Th e proposed reformatory became a political issue. So, the Oklahoma State Reformatory was established by an act of the legislature in March 1909, with an initial appropriation of $500,000. Th e temporary quarters (built south of the “Wildcat” mountain) were completed, and the fi rst 60 inmates were received from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on April 22, 1910. Th e number was supplemented by 50 more inmates in May 1910; In July 1910, 100 black prisoners were transferred from McAlester for public roadwork in Washita County. Two hundred more prisoners were transferred on March 18, 1911, of which 100 were assigned to public roadwork in Caddo County. Clyde A. Reed was appointed warden on September 12, 1910. Construction of the main facility began in 1911 and was completed in 1914. Th e temporary quarters were destroyed by fi re that same year. To briefl y recap, Kate Barnard, during her short seven years (1907-1914) as commissioner, founded, built, and put in operation both the penitentiary and the reformatory. She had lofty, but realistic goals for the institutions, gave personal attention to the inmates herself, and expected the staff to do the same. While the Governor and the legislators wanted the institutions to be not only self-sufficient, but also revenue earners for the state, Kate wanted them to reform inmates that would be good citizens upon release from prison.
Kate Barnard was succeeded by William D. Matthews (1914-1922), who submitted very skimpy biennial reports to the Governor with barely a page of population statistics on each of the two institutions. A reader gets the impression that the institutions were passing through some phase of consolidation, and the administrations were maintaining status quo. One could clearly observe that the reformers had somewhat weakened in the absence of Kate Barnard. Governor Robert L. Williams (1915- 1919), in his message to the legislature in 1917, was concerned about the economic well-being of the facility, but not its rehabilitative role, when he said, “Th e reformatory of Granite is a penitentiary just as much so as the prison at McAlester.” He made no distinction between the penitentiary and the reformatory. Governor Williams clearly wanted to use the reformatory as a second penitentiary. He wanted a warden to be a businessman. Making use of the state-owned mountain of granite and the reformatory’s captive labor pool, he negotiated a contract with the Rock Island Railroad Company. Th e railroad exchanged a small rock crusher (capable of 80 yards a day) for 1200 carloads of rough rock for its track beds. With this contract, the Governor claimed, “Now the reformatory is self-sustaining.”
Warden Boone Williams reported on three years of achievement from September 1, 1915 to September 1, 1918, claiming enlargement and improvement of the prison gin machine, dairy barn, and power house machinery. He also reported the building of a 20,000 bushel granary, east cell house (two-thirds completed), and broom factory. To assist the government in its aid to World War I, the institution supplied building materials to the Aviation Field at Fort Sill. In the area of rehabilitation, it was reported that 75 to 80 percent of the inmates released from the institution had not returned to criminal life (the annual reports often recognized their reformation role). Th e east cell house was completed in 1918 with four levels. Th e fourth level, being a relatively open area since construction, has been utilized for a multitude of purposes ranging from classrooms to open dormitory. Th e remaining fl oors have cells facing north and south in a back-toback confi guration. Each individual cell was constructed with open fronts (bars only) as opposed to the solid steel plate type used in the west cell house. Each cell was constructed ten feet fi ve inches by seven feet, providing 73.5 square feet per cell with four bunks to each cell, thus adding 290 beds to the capacity of the institution. By year’s end, the institution bed count had climbed to 658. Th e next few years were fortunate for the reformatory as it moved closer to its reformative ideal.
Governor James B. Robertson (1919-1923) made a consistent and honest eff ort to run the institution as a reformatory. He appointed as warden, Dr. George A. Waters, a highly respected and successful farmer and dentist. Waters immediately made plans to travel east to study modern methods of organizing and conducting reformatory work. He sent a requisition to the Board of Public Aff airs for 500 books as the nucleus for a general library. He also initiated a public call for book donations from charitable organizations. Governor Robertson mailed a letter to all judges of the district courts in the state: “Hereafter no prisoner will be confi ned at Granite who is over the age of 23 years, or who has heretofore been committed for two or three off enses, or who is sentenced for more than ten years. All such prisoners must be sent to McAlester.” Th at was a major step in diff erentiating the role of a reformatory from that of a penitentiary. It is important to mention here that Mabel Bassett replaced William Matthews as Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, and she remained in that position for a long term of 24 years, from 1922-1946. Another contribution of Warden George Waters was the training of inmates in scientifi c agriculture. He planned to establish experimental seed farms and specialized husbandry for cattle, sheep, and hogs. Th e Agricultural and Mechanical College at Stillwater provided technical aid. Very unfortunately, with the change in administration, the Robertson/Waters team was out, and Governor C. Walton was elected in 1923. During Walton’s short tenure as Governor, there was massive corruption at all levels, which led to his impeachment. Some prisoners received clemency before they even arrived at the state prison.
Not only were all the constructive projects started at the reformatory hard hit, but the inventories of some reformatory shops were ruthlessly plundered. Dr. George Waters was reappointed as warden, and he resumed offi ce in 1924 to clear up the mess. On resumption of offi ce, Dr. George Waters found that many of the programs he had instituted were eliminated. Many fi ne instructors from the bakery, kitchen, farm, tannery, and shoe shop had been replaced by incompetent ones. Dr. Waters again set the house in order and increased production. In December 1925, there were 591 inmates, all usefully occupied in tannery, carpentry, blacksmithing, stone masonry, tailoring, cooking, baking, tinning, or plumbing. Despite all of his achievements, he was modest in claims. Talking about the farm, he reported in his annual report, “Th e produce is not as good as I would have liked it to be, but it represents our very best eff ort.”
Warden J. J. Savage, in his Annual Report of the Oklahoma State Reformatory (OSR), reported a population of 606 prisoners on December 13, 1926, and proudly claimed that all of them were working(no idleness). Many of them were learning a trade (bakery, cooking, plumbing, cleaners and stone masons) going to school for half a day, and working for the other half of the day. Warden Savage recommended the introduction of an adequate wage system and wanted to transfer the institution into a REAL REFORMATORY. He also recommended the establishment of a parole board with the head of each penal institution as members of the board.
In 1927, Mrs. George A. Waters became the warden and carried on the work of her able husband. She focused mainly on educational and religious programs for prisoners. In order to employ all prisoners, she leased several hundred acres of land (OSR already had 1400 acres of land in 1927). At the end of 1928, OSR’s population shot up to 782 (an increase of 176 prisoners in one year), constituted of mostly property off enders, with 61 fowl thieves. Th ere were four deaths in 1928, two of which were caused by accidents at the rock crusher. Mrs. George Waters, often distinguished as the fi rst and only female warden of a large state reformatory for males, proved herself very popular both locally and nationally. On October 8, 1930, Governor W. J. Holloway appointed Mrs. Waters as his personal representative, and delegate from Oklahoma, to attend the annual meeting of the American Prison Congress in Louisville, Kentucky. She was elected to the board of directors of the National Prison Organization. Upon Mrs. Waters return home, she was honored by both the staff and citizens of Granite, Oklahoma. Mrs. Waters was considered one of the most convincing women speakers in the country. She was notifi ed by the Democratic National Committee in September, 1932, that she had been placed on the list of speakers to tour the country. Her speech, seconding the nomination of Governor Murray for President, was given wide publicity, and many who heard it declared it the best speech delivery at the 1932 National Democratic Convention in Chicago. Th e following year, Warden Mrs. George A. Waters was elected as the vice-president of the National Prison Association at its annual meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October, 1933. Mrs. Waters was very enthusiastic about making OSR a model reformatory, and she loved her “boys” who returned her love with respect (OSR inmates were mostly referred to as “boys”). She tried to “make the prison as normal as home.” Reverend E. W. Nagel, a noted social worker from St. Louis, spent a week at the reformatory and praised OSR for its correctional eff orts. After conversing with the boys in the cells, he remarked that it was the “lack of love in their families which was responsible for their trouble.” Mrs. Waters was called “an ideal mother not only to her own children, but to every “boy” who had been under her supervision in the reformatory.” Th ese words were echoed repeatedly at a warm banquet given by the residents of Granite on January 17, 1935, to celebrate Mrs. Waters’ 13 year residency in Granite as a wife, mother, and warden. To add to her several accomplishments, she was also appointed to Oklahoma’s Hall of Fame. While to all appearances, things were going all right for Mrs. Waters, who had worked with three Governors, there was some trouble brewing in the minds of some inmates. Th ese inmates mailed a complaint to the authorities alleging cruel treatment at the hands of some staff members. While an investigation against Mrs. Waters’ administration was being conducted by the State Board of Public Aff airs, there came stunning news of a massive prison break on February 18, 1935 (Th e Granite Enterprise, October 10, 1930; October 23, 1931; September 23, 1932). A SPECTACULAR PRISON BREAK AT GRANITE Prison breaks, prison riots, and prison protests are often characterized by their suddenness, unpredictability, and unexpected course of developments. Th e prison staff is often caught unaware and unprepared. All of the above was true of the prison break at Granite, which occurred on February 17, 1935, soon after Sunday lunch. As many as 31 inmates made a bid for freedom in this daring escape. However, eight of them surrendered in the front yard of the institution after being peppered with a blast of small shot from a shotgun in the hands of Deputy Warden M. T. Gallion. Two returned voluntarily, and 18 were at large until the following day. Th e inmates conspiring to break had, somehow, managed to smuggle two guns, which they used to threaten Offi cer Tom Denton, asking him to unlock the prison doors, and later they shot down Peter Jones, the guard on the front tower. Gathering a number of women and children visitors in front of them, the convicts rushed down the front steps. Piling in two cars in front of the institution, 20 of the men fl ed east. Later, they confi scated other cars and continued the fl ight. On Monday morning, they forced a farm housewife to prepare breakfast for them and also a lunch to take with them. A house was also burglarized at Elk City Sunday night. When Mrs. Waters entered the prison, she found all the doors open and six offi cers locked in the cells. Th en Mrs. Waters went up the prison steps, and the inmates saw her. Every hat went off to Mrs. Waters, which greatly encouraged her. Her two sons, Victor Waters, county attorney of Greer County, and Dr. C. B. Waters, an intern at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, hurried to Granite to be available to their mother. Fortuitously, Warden Waters’ son, Dr. C. B. Waters, attended the wounded prisoners. All of the Waters applied their diff erent skills to serve the reformatory “boys” in various ways. Th e slain guard’s wife, Mrs. Peter Jones, also worked in the reformatory and saw her husband shot. A favorite of the inmates, to most she was familiarly known as “Mother.” Many of them had helped her at her work in the guard kitchen. Similarly, the slain guard was addressed as “Uncle Pete.” Apparently, there was an atmosphere of family before the break (Th e Oklahoma Times, February 18, 1935).
On February 19, 1935, Mrs. Waters was fi red, and she was replaced by Sheriff Fred Hunt. Th at ended the era of the Waters family for the reformatory. Th e quarry operation continued until the mid 1940s. During the construction stage a rock crusher was in operation to provide crushed granite for road and building materials. Th e rock crusher was located on the west side of the mountain. Th e abandoned guard tower is still standing just southwest of the mountain and silently faces the gaping scar across the entire west face of “Wild Cat” mountain. Th e prisoners working at the quarry operation had to drag the heavy ball and chains attached to their ankle. In addition, they had to carry a ten pound “double jack” sledgehammer over their shoulder. Th e crushed rock was sold commercially and shipped by rail to receiving points throughout the country. Th e railroad spur, which allowed for shipping the rock, also extended into the compound and was utilized for the movement of prisoners as well as bringing in fuel oil necessary to fi re the boilers of the prison steam plant. Th e steam plant furnished heat for the primary facility, warden’s and deputy warden’s residences, and provided raw steam for the kitchen, laundry, and electric generator room. Th e room below the main rotunda, which is often reported to have been a solitary confi nement cell, was actually the generator room. It still has an original steel plate door. In 1947, Lakeside School, then administered by the City View Board of Education, was accredited by the Oklahoma State Department of Education; thus, becoming the fi rst fully accredited K-12 school to be operated within the confi nes of an adult penal institution in the United States (it was also the fi rst racially integrated school in the state, starting in 1949).
In the News and Views published in the early 1950s, the reformatory school was greatly promoted by the then warden, Joe Harp. Th e warden used the institution’s newspaper as a vehicle to address the inmates and to impress upon them the merits of education. In looking over the monthly school progress reports, he found that about 20 percent of the boys were doing excellent work, another 20 percent put in no eff ort, and the remaining 60 percent were doing average work. Th e record showed that the school had an average daily attendance of 340 in May 1950. In 1954, the 127 foot smokestack was dismantled when it was no longer needed because of the new power plant. Th e chimney weighed 300 tons and was approximately 35 feet around the base (OSR News and Views, June, 1954). Warden Joe Harp took comfort in the fact that OSR did not have the problem of inmate idleness as the Oklahoma State Penitentiary had. Even then he was always trying to expand vocational trades and educational programs (OSR News and Views, May 1954). Two new school rooms and one library room were added in October 1953. Warden Joe Harp was elected as fi rst vice president of the Southern States Prison Association at the 12th Annual Conference in Dallas (OSR News and Views, June 1953). In 1974, Western Oklahoma State College and the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education combined their eff orts and resources to make the OSR a pilot project for the emerging Televised Instruction System. Western Oklahoma State College transmitted classes only to the Oklahoma State Reformatory, which gave OSR students a distinct advantage in planning their degree programs. Th e Oklahoma State University also televised Criminology and Corrections courses from 1974 to 1977 for the Reformatory staff . Dr. Harjit S. Sandju, professor of sociology and corrections, off ered several extension courses in corrections at Granite in the evenings. In 1984, construction of four new housing units inside the main prison compound was completed, and the “old cell house” was vacated in compliance with federal court mandates
Clara Waters was the wife of Dr. George Waters, who was the warden of the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite from 1920- 1926. She had been actively involved in her husband’s work, so much so that one year after his death she was named warden of the reformatory. Th is appointment made Clara Waters the fi rst female warden in the United States to head a state prison. She also is reported to be the fi rst female to head an all male prison. While serving as warden, she developed the educational and vocational training opportunities provided to the young off enders convicted of felonies and began the fi rst in-house educational program at the reformatory. Th is program eventually evolved into the Lakeside School, the fi rst fully accredited behind-the walls high school in the United States. Other accomplishments included a classifi cation program to segregate the younger off enders from the older inmates. In addition, she initiated a 24-hour day medical access program at the reformatory which later became a required standard at all correctional facilities
Poker Run hosted by Hillside
Community Correcti ons Center -
August 15, 2009
Approximately $5,400 was raised for the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Norman, which is a rape crisis and batt ered shelter for women and their children. Stati sti cs show that the majority of women who are incarcerated have been a victi m of sexual, verbal, physical or mental abuse. It is the hope of those involved that by allowing this facility to remain open despite budget cuts, will bring hope to women and their families. It was reported by News Channel 9 that the United Way budget cut the facility by 44%.
We are ecstati c to announce to our sponsors the total amount raised, and look forward to a higher fi gure next year.
6th Annual Special Olympics Poker Run
hosted by Joseph Harp Correctional Center (JHCC)
by Debbie Dorris
On August 22, a beautiful summer morning, bikers gathered at Fort Th under Harley-Davidson in anticipation of JHCC’s Sixth Annual Poker Run for Special Olympics. Participants ranged from non-law enforcement (or “civilians” as we like to call them) to C.O.’s, members of the OKC PD, and the OHP. Soon, two of the athletes arrived to meet and greet and remind everyone why we were there. Amy Wollmershauser, whose sports of choice are bocce, basketball, bowling, speed walking and snowshoe racing (that’s right – snowshoe!) and
Chris Paynter, a weight lifter, made an already beautiful day brighter.
Meanwhile, at the fi rst stop of the day, Ashley Kohlun, Global Messenger, was ready to shine her 100 watt smile as the bikers arrived in Purcell. Apparently, she made quite an impression with the owners of JP Outfi tters who gave her a free pink JP Outfi tters shirt. Not to be outdone, Ron Guthrie (JHCC Unit Manager) allowed her to pick out a ballcap to match her shirt. She had a great time being recognized because for the last several years, she has been the special guest speaker at the JHCC golf tournament. She enlightens the group about her duties as a Special Olympics Global Messenger and her sports which include swimming, bocce, bowling and basketball.
Jonathan Parkhurst (who I think secretly works in a casino) assisted me at the fourth stop of the day, Harley-Davidson World. He would spread the cards before each participant and quip, “Pick a card, any card.” Th ey loved him. Jonathan’s sport of choice is golfi ng and let me tell you, his personality alone could beat Tiger Woods any day!
If you ever get a chance to attend a Torch Run fundraiser or any Special Olympic event where there is an opportunity to meet these gifted individuals, don’t hesitate. For more information check out the Oklahoma Special Olympic website at www.sook.org.
Probation and Parole, the
most poorly documented
segment of the
of Corrections history. Lack of
documentation appears to be due to
the fact that there simply was little to
In a 1912 Commissioner of Charities and Corrections annual report, Commissioner Kate Barnard claimed that the passage of a state parole system was critical to the success of the reformatory (OSR) because some people took longer to train than others and release under supervision was necessary to help the ex-convict to adjust to freedom. Commissioner Barnard failed in her attempt to get the parole system passed. After an election to the post of Commissioner of Charities and Corrections in 1922, Mabel Bassett submitted penal reform recommendations to the Legislature. One of the recommendations was the authorization of probation services. In reference to a Legislature investigation of the penal system, a 1929 Report in House Journal entry refl ects that the investigative committee recommended establishment of a parole system. It appears that the Governor had power to grant parole, but there was no “system.” Th ere was little or no accountability.
In 1943, the legislature authorized a Pardon and Parole Board, there creating a “system.” But those granted parole had little accountability until establishment of the Division of Probation and Parole in 1968. Probation and Parole, as currently known, did not begin to evolve until the late 1950’s and did not resemble what it is today until the late 1960’s. Governor J. Howard Edmonson became the fi rst Governor of Oklahoma to recommend “the establishment of a Department of Corrections” responsible for the entire correctional system. Th e legislature failed to act upon this recommendation.
Governor Henry Bellmon’s administration (1963-1967) again contracted with an outside agency to study the penal system and make recommendations for change. Th is time the state requested the services of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD). Th e NCCD report recommended that Oklahoma pass a law creating a state Department of Corrections. Governor Dewey Bartlett (1967- 1971) supported the concept of a state Corrections agency and he urged the legislature to fi nalize the work of the past four years and pass the legislation. Th e Oklahoma Corrections Act was passed on May 8 and became eff ective on July 1, 1967. Th e legislation created a Department of Corrections consisting of an appointed State Board of Corrections and a director to head the department and its three divisions of institutions, inspections, and parole. Prior to the Corrections Act of 1967, only parole services were off ered on a statewide basis under the direction of the Commissioner of Charities and Corrections.
Th e Division of Probation and Parole dissolved in 1991 under a departmental reorganization. However, in 1996, the DOC once again reorganized into the Division of Probation and Parole/ Community Corrections created by Deputy Director, Kathy Waters. Reginald Hines was named Deputy Director in 2005 upon Justin Jones being named as Director. Mr. Hines had previously served as the Assistant Deputy Director, having transferred to the Division after his most recent service as warden at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center. Th e Division of Community Corrections is comprised of eight community corrections, fi fteen community work centers, and six probation and parole districts. Th ere are over 27,000 probationers and 3,600 parolees under the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Th e Division also has oversight responsibilities for nine halfway houses, providing reentry services to over 1,200 off enders.
WHEREAS, probation and parole is an essential part of the justice system; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals uphold the law with dignity, while recognizing the right of the public to be safe-guarded from criminal activity; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals are responsible for supervising adult and juvenile off enders in the community; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals are trained professionals who provide services and referrals for off enders; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals work in partnership with community agencies and groups; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals promote prevention, intervention and advocacy; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals provide services, support, and protection for victims; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals advocate community and restorative justice; and
WHEREAS, probation and parole professionals are a true Force for Positive Change in their communities, and; Now, Th erefore, Be it Resolved that I , Brad Henry, Governor of Oklahoma, do hereby proclaim July 19-25, 2009 as: Probation, Parole and Community Supervision Week and encourage all citizens to honor these probation and parole professionals and to recognize their achievements.
2009 SCOTIA KNOUFF LINE OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Probation and Parole Offi cer Crystal Angelo from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections was named the 2009 Scotia Knouff Line Offi cer of the Year. Offi cer Angelo began her career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections as a Probation and Parole Offi cer in 2004, shortly after obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. Over the last eighteen months, Probation and Parole Offi cer Angelo has been actively involved in a multi-jurisdictional caseload study that is researching the diff erential eff ect of caseload size on outcomes related to recidivism for medium and high-risk off enders, as well as the impact of evidence based practices (EBP) on recidivism outcomes. Th is study, which concluded in April 2009, will provide correctional agencies nationwide with much needed data and research analysis. She recently became a member of the agency's Honor Guard, and is a sign language interpreter for the department. She was selected as Oklahoma's Probation and Parole Offi cer of the Year for 2008.