HOMINY, Okla. -- It's not the guard towers, steel bars or razor wire that fortify a prison. Ask anyone here, and they'll tell you it's the people who are the foundation of Dick Conner Correctional Center. Warden Janet Dowling said, "40 years is a huge deal. And the reason the facility is still here and successful in meeting its mission for the Department of Corrections is because of people like you. "
Newbies, retirees and everyone in between gathered recently to commemorate the 40th anniversary of DCCC. Region 1 Director Millicent Newton Embry said, "Often times we hear about standing on the shoulders of giants. For the staff here today, they get to see the giants they've stood upon. The people who are the framework of the agency. "
Four full decades of history are chronicled in albums, artifacts and photographs. But it's the employees who truly capture the history of Dick Conner. "It's really awesome to see the folks again. I worked here 34 years and loved every minute of it," said Carole DeBoe.
Through the good times and bad, these people forged lifetime friendships. According to retired employee Mary Wooden, "It looks just the same. It's so good to see all these people."
All these people -- they are the foundation for which a safer Oklahoma was built.