Regular Meeting Minutes
- Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call
- Approval of Board of Corrections Regular Meeting Minutes
- Director’s Comments
- Agency Budge Update
- Inmate/Offender Population Update
- Legislative Update
- Inspector General Statistical Update
- Approval of Board of Corrections Policies
- Internal Audit Update for FY20 - 1st Quarter
- Criminal Justice Reentry, Supervision, Treatment and Opportunity Reform (RESTORE) Task Force Update
- Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council (CJRCC) Task Force Update
- Committee Reports - Standing Committees
- Approval of Appointments
- New Business
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1. Call to Order, Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call
Chairman T. Hastings Siegfried called the regular meeting of the Oklahoma Board of Corrections (BOC) to order at 1:02 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Administrative Headquarters of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC), 3400 N. Martin Luther King Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The meeting was preceded by advance notice of the date, time and place, filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State on December 8, 2019. An announcement was also given at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance by posting notice of the date, time, place and agenda of the meeting at 11:13 a.m. on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, at the principal office of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC), located at 3400 North Martin Luther King Avenue in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- A. Pledge of Allegiance
Chairman Siegfried led the meeting attendees in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the United States Flag.
- B. Roll Call
Chairman Siegfried asked the clerk to call roll:
Randy Chandler - Present
Betty Gesell - Present
Joseph Griffin - Absent
Lynn Haueter - Present
Dr. Kathryn LaFortune - Present
Stephan Moore - Present
Calvin Prince - Present
T. Hastings Siegfried - Present
Daryl Woodard - Absent
Calling of the roll reflected a quorum was present.
2. Approval of Board of Corrections Regular Meeting Minutes
Chairman Siegfried requested a couple of minor edits to the meeting minutes for January 15, 2020, a copy of which was included in the BOC packet for February 12, 2020. He noted a grammatical change on Item 4., Director’s Comments, and clarification on Items 6. A. and B., as well as Item 9. A., requiring clarification and additional information about committee structure. Chairman Siegfried asked if there were any other changes or clarification to the minutes. There being none, Chairman Siegfried requested approval of the meeting minutes with noted changes for January 15, 2020.
Motion: Chairman Siegfried made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Haueter seconded the motion.
The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes. Meeting minutes for January 15, 2020 were approved as amended by majority vote.
There was no further discussion.
3. Director's Comments
Chairman Siegfried requested a moment to thank members of the Board of Corrections for their activities over the past month and their dedication to committee work. He specifically mentioned Dr. LaFortune and Ms. Gesell who attended the 2nd Annual Public Safety Forum
Director Crow welcomed everyone to the meeting and said the agency has a lot going on. Legislative session began on February 3, 2020, noting that Jessica Brown will be speaking to that later in the agenda; prison closure discussions in the media as the agency works on an assessment plan to review efficiencies and inefficiencies of all operations; and a comprehensive review of the agency’s fleet and cell phones, to name a few. All of this work is in support of Governor Stitt’s mandate for Oklahoma to become a Top 10 State. Director Crow commented that we will see great things moving forward as we work through the review processes.
- A. Update on Governor Stitt’s Executive Order 2019-41 on Contraband Cell Phones
Director Crow reiterated that contraband cell phones continue to be a big problem for ODOC. The difficulty faced by the agency is coming up with technology and processes to combat contraband phones. Governor Stitt’s Executive Order #2019-41 mandated that ODOC work with the Department of Public Safety to find a way to thwart the usage of cell phones. Director Crow said he and DPS are working with Secretary Ostrowe and Secretary Keating to review technology that could be used to significantly reduce contraband cell phones. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been reluctant over the years to allow jamming technology because localizing signals to inside the facility only is not a guarantee in that jamming could adversely affect the ability of citizens in close proximity to facilities to use their cell phones. Director Crow said technology is being reviewed that will allow ODOC to identify the phones but not jam them. He will update the BOC in the coming weeks and months.
- B. Prison Entrepreneurship Program – Dallas, Texas
Director Crow said programs for inmates are significant for the state and to accomplish the Governor’s Top 10 initiative. Programs must be outcome-based, measurable, and make a difference. The agency is exploring many programs. On January 24, Director Crow accompanied Senator Shaw, community partners, members of ODOC senior staff, and the agency’s chaplain on a visit to the Sanders Estes Unit in Venus, Texas to visit the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Director Crow said the PEP program teaches inmates how to develop business proposals through classroom instruction and mentorship by business professionals in the community. The group was able to view the “Shark Tank” final four business pitches and the program graduation. ODOC is collaborating with Senator Shaw as he works to identify funding to bring a similar program to Oklahoma, which would be piloted at Dick Conner Correctional Center. This is a privately funded partnership program. Director Crow said he was impressed and energized by the program, and he looks forward to replicating it in Oklahoma. He went on to say he is excited about the expansion of many programs within ODOC, and mentioned the agency is also looking at a seminary program with Oklahoma Baptist University and a degree program through Ashland University. Director Crow said he will continue to update the BOC as programs within the agency receive a facelift.
- C. 2nd Annual Public Safety Forum
Director Crow said he was not able to be in attendance at the January 23 forum because he was called to a settlement hearing at the Federal Courthouse in Tulsa. He has received excellent feedback on the content and panels that were established, and he is looking forward to next year’s Forum. He thanked Jessica Brown and her staff who did an excellent job in assembling informative panel discussions on “Getting to the Top 10 – the Future of Criminal Justice,” and “Improving Outcomes of Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals,” which focused on diversion programs, inmate skills training and employment of felons. Many of the state’s top leaders in criminal justice reform were in attendance as both panel members and forum attendees. Informative presentations were given by Mr. Wolf, on recent changes in law affecting criminal justice and ODOC’s incarceration rate, and by OBNDD’s Angie Woodrow, who gave a statistical overview of trends in public safety. Mr. Siegfried added that the event was well organized and the turnout was excellent. Dr. LaFortune and Betty Gesell were also attendance.
- D. Offender Management System (OMS) Kick-Off
Director Crow said he is thankful state leaders recognized the need to provide funding to replace ODOC’s antiquated OMS system, and is excited about the support we have received from leadership. A kick-off meeting was essential to a proper start for the entire OMS project. On February 4, 2020, ODOC representatives Mike Carpenter and Lisa Burlingame-Bowers spearheaded the kick-off meeting with the vendor, Marquis Software, the project management team from Arrowhead Resources, and our IV&V partner KPMG. Director Crow said project planning began on February 7 with field visits to probation and parole offices. By March, the team should have a data bridge built to move the system from old to new. He will continue to provide updates as the project moves through the different phases. Director said this is a part of the committee chaired by Mr. Haueter, who will speak more on the subject later on the agenda.
Director Crow stated his updates were complete and asked if there were any comments.
There was no further discussion.
4. Agency Budget Update
- A. FY 2020 ODOC Budget Monthly Update
Acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ashlee Clemmons provided an overview of the FY 2020 ODOC Monthly Budget, a copy of which was included in the BOC packet for February 12, 2020.
Ms. Clemmons said for the budget update from July 2020, on three-year expenditures, she touched on items over 10%, which included but is not limited to: Legislative pay raises in 2019 and 2020; contract bed fluctuations from 2019, which saw a per diem increase that is now dropping back down in 2020; medical; community sentencing, supported by administrative fees; and 200 Revolving Funds from the agency. She also said there was a general increase from 2019 to 2020 due to the debt bond; central office operations with the addition of the criminal interdiction unit, and increases for OCI and Agri-Services due to raw material costs in 2019 to 2020. Mr. Chandler asked CFO Clemmons if the medical issue for this month is the same as last month. Ms. Clemmons advised the numbers reflect the same issue as the previous billing, in that we have not received all of the invoices from the September disturbance. Medical is an area in which costs typically raise each year by 2-5%. Ms. Clemmons feels good about ODOC being within the budget.
There was no further discussion.
5. Inmate/Offender Population Update
Classification and Population Director Jason Bryant provided an overview of the inmate/offender population as of January 31, 2020. A copy of the overview was included in the BOC packet for February 12, 2020. Mr. Bryant will be meeting with the BOC Population/Security/Private Prison Committee, Director Crow, and Millicent Newton-Embry to talk about numbers, trends and strategies concerning the inmate population to ensure the presentation is in accordance with the Board’s wishes.
Mr. Bryant said as of January 31, 2020, ODOC has a total population of 57,517 individuals for the entire population, which is a 5% decrease from the total population of 60,242 on January 31, 2019; the current facility population shows a 7% reduction from the same time last year; and the total probation, parole, community sentencing, and GPS offender population of 31,844 is a 3% reduction from last year. Also, county jail transfers/waiting/pending, as well as inmates sentenced to custody and scheduled to arrive at LARC and MBARC is 166 less than same time last year.
Discussion ensued on several areas of the classification/population process, to include:
The average number of county jail transfers to A&R in a month. Mr. Bryant advising that currently 140 inmates are received pre week. This number fluctuates due to the goal of A&R balancing the number of inmates received, with the number of inmates in county jails awaiting reception, with the number of individuals being sentenced by counties. Beginning this week, A&R will begin receiving 160 inmates per week.
The average wait time until an inmate is brought into A&R. Mr. Bryant said statute dictates that counties have to tell ODOC when an inmate is ready for reception within five days. Statute has now changed where there is no repercussions for the counties if they do not meet the five day rule in statute. The five day rule still exists but if they do not follow it, ODOC still has the obligation to pay them. Mr. Bryant said that typically, Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties want to clear their inmates holding for ODOC receptions, while the smaller counties keep their inmates as long as they can. The larger counties can move their ODOC inmates and contract with federal authorities to house their inmates, which pays higher than ODOC’s rate of $27 per day; the smaller counties use the $27 per day to offset their operating budget.
At the request of Chairman Siegfried, Mr. Bryant gave an overview of the charts included in packets, advising the reports could evolve following upcoming committee meetings. He also plans to have detailed discussions with the sub-committee about how the agency determines rated, temporary, and general population beds. Director Crow said the agency is in the process of redefining these beds so it is more easily understood. He said temporary beds have in the past been used in medium, minimum, and community security facilities. The majority of those beds are at minimum security at this time, with some being found in community facilities. Temporary beds are often found in areas not designed to “house” inmates, such as program and dayroom spaces. Board members expressed interest in having these areas pointed out during tours of institutions, as they want to view how temporary beds affect security. There was no further discussion.
6. Legislative Updates
Chief of Strategic Engagement Jessica Brown presented the legislative update, advising that the 57th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session began February 3, 2020, and is four months in duration. She said the session is only in the second week, so her report today be very preliminary. Ms. Brown advised the agency is tracking approximately 50 of the 2,340 bills that were filed at this time. February 27 is the first deadline for bills to get out of committees on the House and Senate Floors.
There will be two weeks given to hear those bills. Ms. Brown advised that approximately 10% of the bills filed each year become law. BOC members received a Bill Status Report in their packets that included 11 DOC requested legislative bills. Each month, BOC members will receive a packet and update of agency initiated bills and bills that could affect our agency. There was no further discussion.
7. Inspector General Statistical Update
Inspector General, Donnie Anderson provided a brief overview of his unit’s statistical report. A copy of the report was contained in the BOC packet for February 12, 2020. Mr. Anderson said he was asked in the BOC sub-committee meeting how many escapees/absconders started out on the list. The list tipped 100 shortly after his ODOC employment on August 1, 2019, but the number is now 64. Another 11% were apprehended last month. Mr. Anderson noted that there are no escapee/absconders from minimum security or above. Chairman Siegfried commended Mr. Anderson’s unit for their work in reducing this number. Mr. Anderson expressed appreciation for the hard work of his unit, and, in turn, said Mr. Rudek’s division has done an excellent job in assisting his unit with immediate notification of an escapee/absconder. Mr. Anderson’s unit is not yet fully staffed, but he has moved STI agents into some of his positions. He is having a tough time attracting agents due to the pay inequities with OSBI and other law enforcement agencies. Mr. Anderson invited BOC members to contact him if they needed additional information. There was no further discussion.
8. Approval of Board of Corrections Policies
Chief Compliance Officer Penny Lewis presented for BOC approval the policies noted on the agenda, adding that the policies only contained minor wording and title changes which did not affect their intent. The following policies contained in the BOC Packet for February 12, 2020, required only minor revisions to include update of chairperson and accreditation references:
- A. P-030200, Inmate Housing, Job and Program Integration
- B. P-110100, Uniform Personnel Standards
- C. P-110300, Drug-Free Workplace Program
- D. P-150100, Physical Plant Standards and Long-Range Plant Development for Correctional Facilities
- E. P-150500, Eight Year, System-wide Capital Improvement Program
Motion: Dr. LaFortune made a motion to approve the policies as presented and Mr. Haueter seconded the motion.
The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes.
The policies were approved by majority vote.
Following the vote, Chairman Siegfried asked how the agency goes about taking a deeper dive into an area such as inmates being housed in temporary beds. Ms. Lewis said BOC policies are used as the framework, while Operating Procedures (OPs) details for staff the procedures required. She noted that OPs have oversight by the author, field review, stakeholder review by senior management, and finally, approval by the Director.
Ms. Lewis also provided an overview of how to determine which OP goes with the individual BOC policies. Mr. Moore thanked Ms. Lewis for the review process and asked if the BOC could receive policies for consideration well in advance of the packet distribution, much like the notification Ms. Lewis gives on the Internal Audits. Ms. Lewis responded in the affirmative. There was no further discussion.
9. Internal Audit Update for FY20 - 1st Quarter
It was noted that the report listed on the agenda should have been for the 4th Quarter of FY 19, rather than the indicated 1st Quarter of FY 20.
Chief Compliance Officer Penny Lewis advised the Internal Financial Audit Team conducted 18 audits in the 4th quarter of FY19, reviewing fiscal management compliance and internal controls. Of the 18 facilities/units audited, four had reportable non-compliance or internal control findings. Among them:
PPWP: Probation and Parole, Region I - Findings related to valid contracts, billings and deposits.
Canteen Purchasing: Joseph Harp Correctional Center / Lexington Assessment and Reception Center – Compliance with purchase order processing, adjustments to inventories consistent with agency policy, inventories not in agreement with closing inventory balance.
Warehouse Inventory: Kate Bernard Correctional Center / Lexington Assessment and Reception Center – Both had findings due to inventories not in agreement with closing inventory balances.
Action Taken: In all instances where findings were reported; plans of corrective action were submitted to include follow up or procedural changes to ensure future compliance. There was no further discussion.
10. Criminal Justice Reentry, Supervision, Treatment and Opportunity Reform (RESTORE) Task Force Update
Chief of Strategic Engagement Jessica Brown advised the Board that both she and Legislative Liaison Justin Wolf will present a PowerPoint overview that includes the RESTORE Task Force and the Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council (CJRCC) Task Force. The full reports of both task forces are included in BOC packets for February 12, 2020. She noted many of the same people served on both committees, so there will be some duplication between the two presentations.
Ms. Brown said the RESTORE Task Force was commissioned in 2019 by Governor Stitt, and was chaired by Cabinet Secretary Chip Keating and Ex-officio Chair Tricia Everest. RESTORE’s focus was to protect lives and property; support victims of crime; deter criminal activity; enhance and establish diversion programs; reduce recidivism, reduce incarceration rate and associated costs; and improve Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. The committee first met in June 2019 and heard from more than 95 criminal justice-involved individuals. The committee met 37 times and broke into six committees—Pipeline, Front-End, Sentencing, Back-End, Rural, and Data/Research.
The task force requested one additional year to turn ideas into action items. Some of the policy changes surround sentencing reform; bail/pre-trial detention; cultural change within DOC through the creation of an accredited seminary or Bible college, creation of a chief cultural office, and an enhanced re-entry plan for offenders; and expansion of technology in rural counties to connect people with services, as well as a new OMS system to help with data collection and coordination with other entities Ms. Gesell asked if the recommendations will be acted on or if there will be a “wait and see” approach. Ms. Brown said none of the recommendations have resulted in law changes that she is aware of, but pieces such as re-entry plans for inmates as they arrive at ODOC is started, as are re-entry fairs.
11. Criminal Justice Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council (CJRCC) Task Force Update
Prior to providing an overview of the Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council (CJRCC), Legislative Liaison Justin Wolf detailed the differences between RESTORE and CJRCC. RESTORE was created by Governor Stitt and CJRCC was established by the legislature; RESTORE was initially given one year (they requested and received a one-year extension) but CJRCC is permanent; RESTORE has a broad review of criminal justice while CJRCC will reduce or hold neutral the prison population; and RESTORE is not bound by Open Meetings Act but CJRCC is an Open Meetings Act compliant body.
The primary purpose of CJRCC was to review the classification of all felonies under Oklahoma law into appropriate categories; review appropriate sentence lengths; review appropriate enhanced sentences for crimes committed after offenders have been convicted; and other appropriate changes to improve the criminal justice system in Oklahoma and ensure public safety. The counsel broke into subcommittees and reviewed Oklahoma law, laws of other states, federal laws and other necessary changes. Subcommittees reported large scale successes and failures of previous efforts, and gathered data and heard from stakeholders. The final report has a draft classification system in place, though it has not been formally adopted, and includes recommendations.
Mr. Wolf said the counsel continues to meet to finalize the matrix for felonies, establish the appropriate range of punishment, establish sentence enhancements, and review violent and 85% crimes. The next annual report is due December 31, 2020.
Mr. Haueter left the meeting at 2:29 pm.
Mr. Wolf said some of the other recommendations were to screen local jail inmates to assist them before they enter the criminal justice system; provide training for stakeholders and expand juvenile drug courts, as well as mental health courts. Board members expressed their desire to see the results of this committee’s efforts moving forward. There was no further discussion.
Mr. Haueter returned to the meeting at 2:32 p.m.
12. Committee Reports – Standing Committees:
- A. Executive – Chairman Hastings Siegfried, Members Lynn Haueter and Dr. Kathryn LaFortune
The committee met on February 6, 2020, to discuss the items presented for the meeting this date. There was no further discussion.
The committee met again the morning of February 12, 2020, to review the appointment of three wardens and discuss their vision for their respective facilities. There was no further discussion.
- B. Population/Security/Private Prisons – Chairman Hastings Siegfried, Members Dr. Kathryn LaFortune and Calvin Prince
The committee met the morning of February 12, 2020, to begin a review of the structure and process to look at trending of inmate/offender population statistics, most of which was discussed during Mr. Bryant’s Population overview. Mr. Anderson gave the subcommittee an update of his unit and interactions between them and the facilities, adding that collaboration is extremely good. His unit signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with the Military Department for an analyst to look at different crime statistics within facilities, at no cost to ODOC. There was no further discussion.
- C. Public Policy/Affairs/Criminal Justice – Chairwoman Betty Gesell, Members Joe Griffin, Dr. Kathryn LaFortune, Stephan Moore
The committee did not meet. Instead, Chairwoman Gesell requested Items 10. and 11., the RESTORE and CJRCC Task Forces presentations, so as to gain direction from the agency as to the BOC’s role in reform efforts. Meetings will be scheduled soon for this committee.
- D. Audit/Finance/Technology – Chairman Lynn Haueter, Members Randy Chandler and Daryl Woodard
This committee did not meet. Chairman Haueter said schedules of committee members did not line up, as all members have been traveling. Since he is a technologist and has been working with the agency on a few IT projects, he shared information on technology. He noted that security is not a part of this committee, but there are implications that will be in alignment with this committee such as cyber security. Mr. Haueter provided a brief overview of OMS and thanked Mr. Carpenter for his excellent oversight and understanding of the concept needed, and Sarjoo Shah for his efforts. Mr. Haueter said Director Crow asked him to serve in an oversight role with ACIISS, a nationally established case management system utilized by OSBI, OBN, and law enforcement agencies across the U.S. Mr. Haueter has had bi-weekly calls with Nick Chaffin on the project. Mr. Chaffin has done an outstanding job and the system has been thoroughly tested both from an engineering standpoint and thorough pilot testing. There will be 80 individuals using the system.
Mr. Haueter said Mr. Shah has put together a high level, corporate IT vision statement for the agency, and is working diligently to reduce the trouble ticket workload that is disrupting business flow, security, technology, etc. Currently, there are 504 support problem tickets. ODOC has 2,320 computers in which many are running Windows 7, a program that is no longer supported by Microsoft. He said the plan is to move away from purchasing computers. Devices will be cloud-based.
13. Approval of Appointments
Justin Farris advised that he had three wardens to present for confirmation by the Board. Mr. Siegfried added that the Executive Committee met with each warden to get to know them, prior to recommending them to the full board for approval. The bio and resume of each warden was contained in the February 12, 2020 BOC packets.
- A. Tommy Sharp as Warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary
Mr. Farris introduced Warden Sharp, Interim Warden at Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP), and highlighted his 26-year career with ODOC. Warden Sharp began as a correctional officer and rose through the ranks to serve as warden of Howard McLeod Correctional Center prior to being named Interim Warden at OSP.
Mr. Siegfried said Warden Sharp’s focus areas are the facility budget and culture. Mr. Haueter and Dr. LaFortune added that Warden Sharp is extremely motivated to institute progress and interaction between inmates and staff. Director Crow said he is very excited to voice his support for Warden Sharp, as he is a change agent and works hard to address needs of inmates and staff.
Motion: Mr. Siegfried made a motion to approve Warden Sharp as Warden of Oklahoma State Penitentiary and Calvin Prince seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes.
Warden Sharp thanked the Board, Director Crow and his chain of command, noting that he appreciates the confidence shown in him. He is excited about the challenge and has already seen positive change. Warden Sharp was presented with his certificate of appointment.
- B. Luke Pettigrew as Warden of the Joseph Harp Correctional Center
Mr. Farris introduced Warden Pettigrew, Interim Warden at Joseph Harp Correctional Center (JHCC), and highlighted his 19-year career with ODOC. Warden Pettigrew began as a correctional officer at John Lilley Correctional Center (JLCC) and rose to the rank of deputy warden at the former Taft Units (Jess Dunn and Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Centers), prior to leaving the agency to work in his family business. He returned to ODOC in 2018 as a correctional case manager at Lexington Assessment and Reception Center, and was appointed deputy warden at OSP prior to being named Interim Warden at JHCC.
Mr. Haueter and Dr. LaFortune said they were excited to hear of Warden Pettigrew’s plans for motivating staff, while focusing on fundamentals and inmate programs. Director Crow said he first met Warden Pettigrew when he joined the agency at JLCC in 1996, and has watched him excel in all areas during the time he was promoting through the ranks. Director Crow said he is excited to have a person of his caliber leading JHCC.
Motion: Mr. Siegfried made a motion to approve Warden Pettigrew as Warden of Joseph Harp Correctional Center and Dr. LaFortune seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes.
Warden Pettigrew thanked members of the Board, Director Crow, Justin Farris and Mike Carpenter, noting he was humbled and excited to work with the professional and dedicated JHCC staff. He plans to enhance the facility’s infrastructure and expand programmatic opportunities for inmates. Warden Pettigrew was presented with his certificate of appointment.
- C. Jim Farris as Warden of the Mack Alford Correctional Center
Mr. Farris introduced Warden Farris, Interim Warden at Mack Alford Correctional Center (MACC), and highlighted his 29-year career with ODOC. Warden Farris began as a correctional officer at Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) and rose to the rank of Warden at Lexington Assessment and Reception Center and Jess Dunn Correctional Center, prior to being named Interim Warden at Howard McLeod Correctional Center and finally Interim Warden at MACC.
Chairman Siegfried said Warden Farris is a “plug and play” warden, meaning he is put into areas with a need. He said Warden Farris categorizes himself as a football coach because he believes everyone is motivated differently, but you keep moving the ball forward to reach the end goals. Director Crow said Warden Farris is a change agent and is already doing a great job at MACC. He said MACC’s condition, cleanliness and staff and inmate morale was a problem, but within a couple of weeks, Warden Farris has already made a difference. Director Crow cited a recent tour of MACC and noted that the facility was substantially cleaner and staff morale was much better than the last time he visited. Director Crow said he is confident in Warden Farris’s ability and said he is a warden the agency can depend on.
Motion: Mr. Siegfried made a motion to approve Warden Farris as Warden of Mack Alford Correctional Center and Mr. Haueter seconded the motion. The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes.
Warden Farris thanked members of the Board, Director Crow, Justin Farris and Mike Carpenter, adding that he appreciates the opportunity to return to MACC because he is home. He said he had been a warden for eight years, and his focus is to change the culture of MACC. Warden Farris said he will be proud to make MACC the best facility in the state.
Warden Farris was presented with his certificate of appointment.
Chairman Siegfried said he appreciated that each warden is concerned with not only the culture of the staff but also of the inmates. He was thoroughly impressed during their meetings this morning and believes the experience each warden has will translate to success.
14. New Business
There was no new business.
Motion: Chairman Siegfried indicated there were no items listed for Executive Session and made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Prince seconded the motion.
The results of the roll call were: Mr. Chandler – yes; Ms. Gesell – yes; Mr. Haueter – yes; Dr. LaFortune – yes; Mr. Moore – yes; Mr. Prince – yes; Mr. Siegfried – yes.
There being no further business to discuss, adjournment of the meeting was approved by majority vote at 3:25 p.m.