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BOC Minutes for April 9, 2015

Regular Meeting

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call
  2. Introduction of Board of Corrections Members
  3. Welcome/Remarks
  4. Old Business
  5. Discussion and Approval of Board of Corrections Meeting Minutes
  6. Director’s Comments with possible discussion on the following:
  7. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution
  8. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution
  9. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution
  10. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution
  11. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution
  12. Monthly Update and Discussion of Agency Budget
  13. Update and Discussion of Offender Population
  14. Committee Reports - Committee Chairs
  15. New Business
  16. Announcements
  17. Approval to Adjourn for Executive Session
  18. Approval to Return from Executive Session
  19. Adjournment

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1. Call to Order and Roll Call - Kevin Gross, Chair

Chair Gross called the regular meeting of the Oklahoma Board of Corrections (BOC) to order at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015, in the Davis Correctional Facility (DCF) at 6888 East 133rd Road in Holdenville, Oklahoma. The final agenda was posted at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC), which is at least twenty-four hours prior to the commencement of the meeting. Chair Gross asked the clerk to call the roll:

Kevin Gross, Chair - Present
Irma Newburn, Member - Present
Gene Haynes, Member - Absent
Michael Roach, Vice Chair - Present
Frazier Henke, Secretary - Present
Matt Tilly, Member - Absent
Todd Holder, Member - Present

Calling of the roll reflected a quorum was present.  (back to top)

2. Introduction of Board of Corrections Members - Kevin Gross, Chair

  • James M. Tilly
  • Irma J. Newburn
  • J. T. Holder

Kevin Gross, Chair Chair Gross announced and welcomed three new members to the BOC: Mr. James M. Tilly from Oklahoma City; Ms. Irma J. Newburn, from Lawton; and Mr. J. T. Holder, from Alva.  (back to top)

3. Welcome/Remarks - Tim Wilkinson, Warden, Davis Correctional Facility

Warden Wilkinson welcomed the BOC and guests to Davis Correctional Facility (DCF). He stated he believed his staff were the best in the State of Oklahoma and were responsible for making DCF run as efficiently as it does. He thanked the BOC for allowing DCF to host the BOC meeting and offered an additional tour after the meeting for those wishing to see a little more of the facility. Chair Gross thanked Warden Wilkinson for the hospitality shown to the BOC.  (back to top)

4. Old Business - Kevin Gross, Chair

There was no old business to discuss.  (back to top)

5. Discussion and Approval of Board of Corrections Meeting Minutes - Kevin Gross, Chair

  • Regular Meeting on March 12, 2015

Chair Gross stated the minutes from the regular meeting on March 12, 2015, were provided to the BOC for review prior to the meeting this date. He requested a motion to approve the minutes as presented to the Board.

Motion: Mr. Roach made a motion to approve the minutes and Mr. Henke seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

The minutes were approved by majority vote and there was no further discussion.  (back to top)

6. Director’s Comments with possible discussion on the following - Robert Patton, Director

  • Tour of Avalon Facilities in Tulsa
  • Tour of Women in Recovery Program
  • Focus for Coming Months

Director Patton thanked Warden Wilkinson for the hospitality shown by DCF during the tour earlier in the day.

Director Patton and staff toured the halfway houses Avalon Tulsa and Turley Residential Center in Tulsa on March 17, 2015. He stated he was impressed with the improvements he observed and continues to see from those facilities. During his tour at Turley Residential Center, he met briefly with a small group to discuss community involvement during pre- and post-incarceration. He thanked Avalon Correctional Services for hosting the tours of the facilities.

Director Patton noted he also met the same day with leaders in the Women in Recovery program in Tulsa. He stated it was his intention to bring some speakers from the program to a BOC meeting in the future so they can share information about their program. He lauded the George Kaiser Family Foundation for their support of the remarkable program and the work being done to follow the progress of the participants.

Associate Directors (AD) Edward Evans and Tina Hicks as well as their staff have refocused on security within the agency. The core functions of the ODOC will be evaluated through security audits conducted by the Inspector General’s staff and through Financial Internal Audits, also conducted by the Inspector General’s staff. The core functions of the agency include keys, searches, perimeter, tools, movement, counts and tours. Within the Executive team, the philosophy that “people respect what leaders inspect” has been adopted. Key management staff, such as wardens and chiefs of security, are out there day-in-day-out watching what staff are doing and ensuring that policy is being followed.

Director Patton welcomed the new BOC members, thanking them for the their service to the State of Oklahoma and taking time out of their personal lives to provide guidance to the agency.

No further comments were made.  (back to top)

7. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution - Leo Brown, Coordinator, Religious and Volunteer Services

  • National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 12-18, 2015)

Mr. Brown greeted the BOC and Director Patton, noting that the following week was National Volunteer Appreciation Week. He stated it was a time when the country recognizes the impact that volunteers make in everyone’s lives. He stated that over the last year, volunteers for the ODOC gave over 120,000 hours of service with an estimated value of over $2.5 million. Mr. Brown stated volunteers provide programs, religious services, staff support and reentry services.

Mr. Brown requested the BOC recognize the Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer Organization of the Year as part of the National Volunteer Appreciation Week. He stated the Volunteer of the Year was named as Virginia Brindle. Ms. Brindle volunteers at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center (MBCC) and has been serving there since 2000. She has served as a volunteer chaplain, program leader, and providing religious services for Seventh-day Adventist Church members at the facility. Ms. Brindle was also a key player in the MBCC Chapel Building Project by coordinating fundraising, soliciting donations, coordinating meals and lodging for the numerous volunteers who worked at MBCC during the initial building phase. Mr. Brown noted that Ms. Brindle brings joy, commitment, and compassion to everything she does at the facility. Ms. Brindle was asked to stand and be recognized as the Volunteer of the Year.

Mr. Brown then introduced the Volunteer Organization of the Year, Battle Buddies at James Crabtree Correctional Center (JCCC). Battle Buddies is a volunteer organization open to all American veterans. Veterans on the outside work with incarcerated veterans prior to their release to help them find housing offers, employment opportunities, assist with re-filing for veteran benefits, and mentoring. Mr. Brown noted that although Battle Buddies was available at all facilities, JCCC was the first facility to host the program. Since the program was initiated, Ron and Jerletta Pandos along with Gary Hendrick have provided unending support and encouragement to incarcerated veterans. The volunteers from Battle Buddies were invited to stand and be recognized as the Volunteer Organization of the Year.

Mr. Brown then requested to present the following resolution to the BOC for approval.

WHEREAS, millions of volunteers serve in their communities across our nation and throughout our state utilizing their time and their talents daily to make a difference in the lives of others; and

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is privileged to have thousands of men and women, many of whom serve as part of a faith community, who tirelessly give of themselves to provide much needed programmatic and occupational services in facilities, districts and units across the great state of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, these volunteers are dedicated to serving as positive role models for the offender population, leading offenders toward pro-social behavior while incarcerated, supporting offenders in reentry, and providing much needed resources that assist the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in fulfilling its mission in a professional manner; and

WHEREAS, April 12-18, 2015, is National Volunteer Week and provides a most appropriate time to recognize these volunteers for demonstrating, on a daily basis, the true spirit of giving; therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the Oklahoma Board of Corrections does hereby announce and proclaim to all its recognition and sincere appreciation of Oklahoma Department of Corrections volunteers and the invaluable services they provide.

Motion: Mr. Henke made a motion to approve the resolution and Mr. Roach seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

No further comments were made.  (back to top)

8. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution - Tina Hicks, Associate Director, Administrative Operations

  • National Administrative Professionals Week (April 19-25, 2015)

Ms. Hicks stated she would be recognizing a group of employees within the ODOC who play a significant role in the daily operations and success of the department. She stated there are approximately 250 administrative professionals within ODOC who make lives easier and more organized on a day-to-day basis. Ms. Hicks noted there were a few administrative professionals in attendance and invited them to stand for recognition.

Ms. Hicks stated in recognition of all administrative professionals throughout the department, she requested the BOC approve the following resolution.

WHEREAS, Administrative Professionals play an essential role in coordinating the office operations of government, businesses, educational institutions and other organizations; and

WHEREAS, the work of Administrative Professionals today requires advanced knowledge and expertise in communications and research, integrated computer software applications, project management, organization and scheduling, customer service and public relations as well as other vital office management responsibilities; and

WHEREAS, April 19-25, 2015 is Administrative Professionals’ Week and April 22, 2015 is Administrative Professionals’ Day and is observed annually in workplaces around the world to recognize the integral and central role that secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals play in modern business; therefore, be it

RESOLVED that the Oklahoma Board of Corrections does hereby announce and proclaim to all its recognition and sincere appreciation of the agency’s Administrative Professionals for their dedication, effectiveness and hard work.

Motion: Ms. Newburn made a motion to approve the resolution and Mr. Holder seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

No further comments were made.  (back to top)

9. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution - Borman Stell, Coordinator, Recruitment, Retention and Recognition

  • National Public Service Recognition Week (May 3-9, 2015)
  • National Correctional Officer’s Week (May 3-9, 2015)

Mr. Stell stated he had two resolutions for BOC approval on this date. The first, in honor of Public Service Recognition Week, recognizes everyone in attendance at the meeting. He stated there were a large number of hard-working individuals who provide service to the state of Oklahoma. He requested approval of the following resolution.

WHEREAS, May 3-9, 2015, is Public Service Recognition Week; and

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has over 3,000 employees who dedicate themselves to providing countless hours of essential services to the citizens of the state of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, these employees provide these services with the highest degree of professionalism, proficiency, honor, and dedication and are committed to fulfilling the Department of Corrections mission of “Protecting the Public, the Employees, and the Offenders,” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and

WHEREAS, this dedication and commitment to serve and the value of the services provided is worthy of the highest form of recognition and commendation; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Oklahoma Board of Corrections does hereby announce and proclaim to all, its recognition of the employees of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the essential services they perform on a daily basis.

Motion: Mr. Henke made a motion to approve the resolution and Ms. Newburn seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

Mr. Stell stated the second resolution for the BOC to approve was to recognize National Correctional Officers Week. He requested BOC approval on the following resolution.

WHEREAS, May 3-9, 2015, is National Correctional Officers Week; and

WHEREAS, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has over 1,500 officers who dedicate themselves to providing countless hours of essential services to the citizens of the state of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, these officers provide these services with the highest degree of professionalism, proficiency, honor, and dedication and are committed to fulfilling the Department of Corrections mission of “Protecting the Public, the Employees, and the Offenders,” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; and

WHEREAS, this dedication and commitment to serve and the value of the services provided is worthy of the highest form of recognition and commendation; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Oklahoma Board of Corrections does hereby announce and proclaim to all, its recognition of the correctional officers of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the essential services they perform on a daily basis.

Motion: Ms. Newburn made a motion to approve the resolution and Mr. Roach seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

No further comments were made.  (back to top)

10. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution - Pam Humphrey, Superintendent, Education

  • National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8, 2015)

Ms. Humphrey stated she was presenting the resolution for National Teachers Appreciation Week. She noted that the Education department within ODOC issues approximately 1,000-1,100 General Education Development (GED) tests every year with a pass rate of 90%. She stated this is the highest pass-rate in the nation at this point; the national average is around 70%. Education programs are available from zero level to associate and bachelor degree in college. She stated the education staff enjoys providing these programs to the offenders, striving to push them as far as they can in their education during the time they are incarcerated. Ms. Humphrey introduced the Teacher of the Year, Ms. Lisa Bennett from Mabel Bassett Correctional Center (MBCC). She stated Ms. Bennett began her career with ODOC in probation and parole but had always had a passion for teaching.

WHEREAS, the Department of Corrections employs 68 full-time certified teachers and administrators across the state who work diligently to ensure that the educational needs of offenders are served; and

WHEREAS, these certified, professional staff are called upon to provide educational services to offenders with more concentrated special needs in a challenging population who have, for the most part, been unsuccessful in the public school setting; and

WHEREAS, the education staff must meet and maintain rigorous standards to remain accredited through three entities: State Department of Education, AdvancEd, and the American Correctional Association; and

WHEREAS, the knowledge and academic skills provided to offenders through the services of the correctional education unit consistently prove to be one of the main deterrents against offenders recidivating back into the system; and

WHEREAS, the provision of education by the teachers in corrections proves to be a cost savings to the State of Oklahoma each year through reduction in incarceration services; and

WHEREAS, National Teachers’ Appreciation Week will be celebrated from May 4-8, 2015, with Tuesday, May 5 known as National Teachers’ Day, a day in which to “Thank a Teacher”; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that we, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, request that all Oklahomans join us in honoring the professionalism, commitment, and compassion of the education staff of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections; and be it further

RESOLVED, that we, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, affirm our appreciation for the accomplishments and efforts of our certified education staff to improve the academic achievements, job employability, and lives of the offenders under their care.

Motion: Mr. Henke made a motion to approve the resolution and Ms. Newburn seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

Ms. Humphrey reminded everyone in attendance to “Thank a Teacher” who impacted their lives. No further comments were made.  (back to top)

11. Discussion and Approval of Board Resolution - Eric Franklin, Division Manager, Health Services

  • National Nurses Appreciation Week (May 6-12, 2015)

Mr. Franklin stated National Nurses Appreciation Week will be celebrated May 6-12, 2015. He introduced several staff from Medical Services: Genese McCoy, administrator of Medical Services; Sean Baker, nurse manager from Lexington Assessment and Reception Center; Mary Kekahban, registered nurse from Dick Conner Correctional Center; Mallory Woten, registered nurse from Jackie Brannon Correctional Center; Denise Hunter, registered nurse from William Key Correctional Center; and 2015 Agency Nurse of the Year, Julie Brown, licensed practical nurse from Jackie Brannon Correctional Center. Mr. Franklin asked for the following resolution to be approved by the BOC:

WHEREAS, the Department of Corrections employs 170 professional nurses across the state who work diligently, 365 days per year to provide nursing services to our offenders; and

WHEREAS, these dedicated staff are called on to provide nursing care to an underserved and challenging population, and respond to that vocation unselfishly; and

WHEREAS, the quality services provided by nurses continue to be a critical component of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections health care delivery system both now and in the future; and

WHEREAS, National Nurses Week is celebrated annually from May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing; and

WHEREAS, this year’s theme “Ethical Practice. Quality Care” is in celebration of the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession; be it therefore

RESOLVED, that we, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, request that all Oklahomans join us in honoring the strength, commitment, and compassion of the nursing staff of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that we, the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, affirm our appreciation for the accomplishments and efforts of our professional nursing staff to improve the lives and health of the offender patients under their care.

Motion: Mr. Holder made a motion to approve the resolution and Mr. Roach seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

Chair Gross stated on behalf of the BOC, he would like to thank all of the volunteers, administrative professionals, teachers, nurses, correctional officers and public servants for their commitment and dedication to their professions. He expressed his appreciation for all employees and volunteers within the agency. No further comments were made.  (back to top)

12. Monthly Update and Discussion of Agency Budget - Ashlee Clemmons, Chief Administrator, Business Services

Ms. Clemmons provided the following budget update as of February 28, 2015:

FY2015 Budget Work Program
Appropriated $472,639,727
200 Fund $17,314,741
205 Fund $4,802,152
280 Fund $2,256,000
Total – Budget Work Program $497,012,620*
*Excludes Prison Industries funds not part of the ODOC operating budget, Community Sentencing and Federal funds

Y-T-D Expenditures $(303,802,062)
Appropriated $(296,327,049)
200 Fund FY 15 $(6,165,450)
205 Fund FY 15 $(1,309,563)
280 Fund FY 15 $(44,702)
Encumbrances $(88,702,247)
Committed $(287,191)
Remaining Payroll $(86,051,640)
Available Balance $18,169,480

Appropriated Operating Funds
Budgeted $472,639,727
Expenditures Y-T-D $(296,327,049)
Encumbrance Y-T-D $(82,707,234)
Total Committed Y-T-D $(2,000)
Available Balance $93,603,444
Less:
Payroll $(86,051,640)
Available Balance $7,551,804

200 Revolving Fund
Beginning Cash Balance 7/1/2014 $180,636
Revenue Received Y-T-D $10,265,178
Expenditures Y-T-D $(9,596,078)
Adjustments Y-T-D $(1,688)
Ending Balance $848,048

205 Revolving Fund
Beginning Cash Balance 7/1/2014 $1,721,954
Revenue Received Y-T-D $3,759,781
Expenditures Y-T-D $(4,656,208)
Adjustments Y-T-D $0.00
Ending Balance $825,527

280 Revolving Fund
Beginning Cash Balance 7/1/2014 $3,972,741
Revenue Received Y-T-D $17,397,653
Expenditures Y-T-D $(17,243,300)
Adjustments Y-T-D $0.00
Ending Balance $4,127,094

Chair Gross queried if there was any indication where the agency stood in the budget request process. Director Patton stated staff continues to meet with members of both the House and Senate to discuss the agency’s needs. He stated as the session winds down, budget discussions become more important. Director Patton stated staff had met the week prior with finance staff that seemed to be very optimistic and understanding of the agency’s needs. There was no further discussion of the budget update.  (back to top)

13. Update and Discussion of Offender Population - Laura Pitman, Ph.D., Division Manager, Field Support

Dr. Pitman provided the population update as of February 27, 2015:

Total System Offender Population = 28,660
DOC Facilities = 19,255
Private Prisons = 5,831
County Jails with Contracts = 562
Halfway Houses = 1,436
Out Count (jails, hospitals, etc.) = 753
GPS = 803
EMP = 19
PPCS = 1
Probation Supervision = 21,998
Parole Supervision Offenders = 3,077
Total System Population = 53,735
County Jail Backup = 241

Director Patton asked Dr. Pitman to explain the percentage of occupancy as of this date. Dr. Pitman stated on February 27, 2015, for the number of offenders needing beds compared to the number of rated beds, the following information provided the percentage rates:

Assessment and Reception Centers - 100%
Institutions - 120%
Community Corrections Centers - 108%
Community Work Centers - 103%
STATE FACILITIES CAPACITY - 116%

Chair Gross requested this information also be included in the Population Update each month.  (back to top)

14. Committee Reports - Committee Chairs

Chair Gross asked the committee chairs for their reports.

  • Audit/Finance Committee
    Mr. Henke stated the committee met on April 8, 2015, via teleconference to review the financial statements and audits which were presented this date. He stated the committee felt the financials were in good order and the audit reports showed demonstrable positive results.
  • Female Offender Committee
    No report.
  • Public Policy/Public Affairs Committee
    No report.
  • Population/Private Prisons Committee
    No report.
  • Executive Committee
    Chair Gross stated the committee met on April 2, 2015, to review and approve the agenda for the meeting this date.  (back to top)

15. New Business - Kevin Gross, Chair

There was no new business to discuss.  (back to top)

16. Announcements - Kevin Gross, Chair

There were no announcements.  (back to top)

17. Approval to Adjourn for Executive Session - Gary Elliott, Assistant General Counsel

  • Discussion of Pending Investigation        
    • Suicide of offender Ronnie Hannon #572489 (IG 15-0046)

Mr. Elliott advised the next items on the agenda would require adjournment to Executive Session for engaging in confidential communication between the Board and its attorney. He recommended Chair Gross entertain motions to adjourn.

Motion: Mr. Roach made a motion to adjourn to Executive Session and Mr. Henke seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

The adjournment was approved by majority vote and the BOC adjourned at 1:34 p.m. to Executive Session.  (back to top)

18. Approval to Return from Executive Session - Gary Elliott, Assistant General Counsel

The BOC returned to the meeting room at 1:55 p.m. Mr. Elliott advised the BOC of the approval needed to return from Executive Session.

Motion: Mr. Roach made a motion to return from Executive Session and Ms. Newburn seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

The return was approved by majority vote and the meeting resumed at 1:55 p.m. Chair Gross advised there were not any actions to take after Executive Session.  (back to top)

19. Adjournment - Kevin Gross, Chair

There being no further business to come before the Board, Chair Gross requested a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Motion: Mr. Henke made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Ms. Newburn seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Gross – yes; Mr. Henke – yes; Mr. Holder – yes; Ms. Newburn – yes; Mr. Roach – yes.

The adjournment was approved by majority vote and the meeting ended at 1:56 p.m. (back to top)