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Guide for Families and Friends of Offenders

Revised December 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

  • General
  • Population
    • Corrections Compact
    • County Jails
    • Jail Time
    • Length of Time in A and R
    • Reception - Initial Assessments
    • Transfers
    • Movement/Transfers
    • Waiting List
  • Sentence Administration
    • Incarceration
    • Community Sentencing
    • Probation and Parole
    • Special Consideration
  • Institutions
    • Hardship Transfers
    • Protective Measures
    • Searches - Offenders and Visitors
    • Contraband
    • Disciplinary Process/Offense Reports
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Escorted Emergency Leave
    • Financial Responsibility - Court Costs/Child Support, etc.
    • Legal Issues
    • Mail
    • Offender Work Programs
    • Property
    • Canteen
    • Release Process
    • Security Levels
    • Segregation
    • Telephone Calls
    • Trust Fund
    • Visitation
  • Private Prisons
  • Programs
    • Treatment Programs
    • Educational Services
    • Career and Technical Training Programs
    • Reentry
  • Religious Services
  • Medical/Mental Health
    • Overview of Medical/Mental Health
    • Access to Medical/Mental Health Care
    • Medical Parole
    • Points of Responsibilities for Medical Care
    • Release of Information - Medical/Mental Health
    • Medical to Include County Jail
    • Who to Call for Medical Issues/Information
    • Dental Services
  • Victim Services
    • Overview
    • Vision and Mission
    • Notification
    • Advocacy
    • Information/Support
    • Victim/Offender Dialogue
    • Impact Awareness Offender Programs
  • Community Corrections
    • Probation and Parole/Community Corrections
    • Firearms
    • Travel Restrictions
    • Global Position Satellite Monitoring Program
    • Parole Docketing
    • Interstate Compact
    • Parole Process
    • Parole Revocation
    • Community Residential Services
    • Prisoner Public Works Program (PPWP)
    • Work Release
  • Legal Services
    • Rights and Responsibilities 

General

What type of offender is incarcerated in the Department of Corrections?
There are four (4) categories of offenders. In descending order these are; maximum, medium, minimum, and community. While a few facilities house more than one category of offender, most are dedicated to a single category. Offenders assigned to maximum or medium status have generally committed crimes that deem them to be a threat to the community and/or have proven to be a management problem. Minimum and community offenders have typically committed drug, alcohol, or property related offenses. A brief overview of all incarcerated offenders is as follows: 53% non violent, 47% violent, 89.5% male, 10.5% female.

What are typical crimes committed by offenders in the Department of Corrections?
Approximately 54.6% of all offenders are under a controlling sentence as follows: Distribution of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (17.4%), Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance 10.0%), Robbery (8.7%), Assault (10.9%), and Rape (7.6%).

What is the average age of an offender?
The ODOC incarcerates adult offenders. Offenders under the age of 18 may be adjudicated as an adult. While ages run the full gamut, the average age is 37.6 years.

How much does it cost to incarcerate an offender?
Costs vary per category of offender as follows: (2012 actual expenditures) maximum $78.50,medium $38.94, minimum $37.39, community $40.07, work center $35.55.

Do offenders receive pay for work performed during incarceration?
Those offenders having institutional job assignments are paid up to $14.45 per month. A very limited number of offenders having special skills and/or assigned to special projects may receive slightly more. Additionally, offenders assigned to Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) are paid slightly more. The reasoning behind paying offenders is two fold: it serves as an incentive to perform well and it ensures that the offender has money to purchase personal hygiene items of their choice from the canteen.

Do any jobs/services performed by offenders take away job opportunities from citizens?
Under the provisions of Oklahoma State Statute Title 57, Section 215, entitled “Prisoners Public Work Act,” public agencies may enter into a contract with the ODOC to utilize offender labor. This act stipulates that offender labor is not intended to displace employees of the contracting public agency.

Where are you located?
Access the ODOC Facilities web page.”Click the pertinent facility and you will be provided the address, telephone number.

What is the difference between a Community Corrections Center (CCC) and a Halfway House?
All require that the offender be eligible for assignment to community status as per OP-060104. Assignment to community status is intended to help offenders nearing completion of their term of incarceration adjust and prepare for re-entry into the community. The majority of offenders assigned to CCC’s work daily in the local community under the provisions of the Prisoners Public Work Program (PPWP). Some CCC’s have a few work release allocations. All Halfway Houses are contracted and operated by the private sector. Offenders assigned to a halfway house are expected to participate in work release.

Visitation is a problem; can the offender be transferred closer to home?
No. With over 25,000 offenders under ODOC purview it is simply not feasible to transfer an offender to the facility of choice. Normally, transfers occur only to meet assessed program needs or when an offender incurs a security level modification.

How do I go about applying for a job with the ODOC?
Visit the ODOC Career page, or contact your local Employment Securities Commission.

How much does it cost to feed an offender?
During FY 2013, the average cost per day to feed an offender was $2.60 at an institution and $2.60 for a community center.

What meal services are provided to offenders?
All offenders are provided three meals per day. At least two of the meals are served “hot.” In some instances, primarily offenders working away from the institution or center, the noon meal is a sack lunch. The ODOC utilizes a master menu, reviewed and certified by a licensed dietitian, to ensure proper nutritional balance and adequate calorie intake.

Do offenders have to pay any cost for their incarceration or any services they receive during
incarceration?

Those offenders assigned to Work Release and actually receiving a pay check are charged the daily per diem rate of the center or halfway house to which they are housed, not to exceed 50% of their salary. No other offenders are charged for their incarceration. The only service for which offenders are charged is a $2.00 medical co-payment in accordance with OP-140117. This charge is only for offender initiated requests for medical, dental, or optometric service and for each medication issued during an offender initiated clinic visit. No offender will be refused health care because of their financial status.

What types of work/services do offenders perform within the community?
Under the provisions of Oklahoma State Statute Title 57, Section 215, entitled, “Prisoners Public Works Act,” public agencies may contract for offender labor. Such labor could be any labor routinely performed by the public agency. The act stipulates that offender labor not displace employees of the contracting agency. Additionally, offender labor may be utilized to benefit
the public in emergency situations such as cleaning up after a tornado, ice storm, or flood.

Why do offenders receive Vocational Technical Training?
Many offenders lack skills necessary to obtain jobs that pay wages suitable to support themselves and/or their dependents. CareerTech training provides these skills. Statistics support that discharging offenders with employable skills are less likely to return to prison.

What types of recreational/leisure activities are available to offenders?
All offenders have access to reading and writing materials. Offenders restricted to their cell may request institutional library books be provided. Offenders not subject to restricted movement generally have access to activities such as basketball, volleyball, walking, jogging, and exercise equipment. Also, dominoes, board games, and cards (gambling is prohibited). Most offenders may also possess a television and radio.

What types of items are available for purchase at the offender canteen?
Primarily, personal hygiene items, clothing items, snack foods, and authorized over the counter medications. Televisions and radios are also available.

What is the smoking policy?
Tobacco and tobacco-like products are prohibited.

Where do renovation and maintenance funds come from?
All ODOC funds, for any purpose, are appropriated by the Oklahoma Legislature.

Do correctional officers carry weapons?
Most correctional officers do not carry weapons. Officers providing perimeter security, and having no direct contact with offenders, at medium and maximum security facilities do carry weapons. Also, officers transporting medium and maximum security offenders carry weapons. These weapons are secured and the offenders handcuffed. All correctional officers receive firearm training.

How many staff are employed at your facility?
Staffing varies greatly contingent upon the security level and the offender population. For staffing information pertinent to a specific facility, visit the ODOC Facility web page. Then click the facility in question where you will find the facility telephone number. Call the facility and request to speak to the Human Resources Officer.

What programs are available to offenders?
This will vary by facility dependent upon the availability of resources and appropriately trained staff and/or volunteers. Most facilities offer various educational and self-betterment classes as well as substance abuse education. For programs available at a specific facility, visit the ODOC Facility web page. Then click the facility in question where you will find the facility telephone number. Call the facility and request to speak to the Case Manager Supervisor.

What is the facility mailing address?
Visit the Facilities web page. Then click the facility in question. You will be provided the mailing address. Please note that this may differ from the physical address.

When can I visit?
First, you must be on the offenders authorized visiting list. The offender must initiate your placement on his/her visiting list. Never attempt to visit unless you know you are approved and you know the authorized visiting days and hours. The visiting days and hours will vary from facility to facility. To determine if you are approved to visit, call the facility and request to speak to the Visitation Officer.

What can I bring to visitation?
This will vary due to security level. The offender in question will generally know and can advise you. You can also call the facility and request to speak with the Visitation Officer.

May children visit/what are the policies for visitation by children?
With the facility head approval, children under the age of 18 may be approved to visit when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult who is also authorized to visit. These children must be natural or adopted children of the offender. All other children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For more specific information, review OP-030118, entitled, “Visitation.”

Can I send an offender money/how much? 
Funds may be sent to an offender through the use JPay or Access. You may send offenders funds through JPay, you can download a mobile app from the DOC website, by phone at (800) 574-5729, by mail using a money order and deposit slip, or in person at any MoneyGram locations found at every Wal-Mart using receiver code 6365. You may send offenders funds through Access online at www.inmatedeposits.com, by phone at (866) 345-1884, by sending a money order with a deposit coupon, or at any Ace Cash Express locations. Much more information about sending funds to offenders is available on the DOC website. To get to the location, go to the DOC website, Organization tab, Business Operations, Offender Banking. Funds sent directly to the facility will be returned to the sender at the offender’s expense. You may not send an offender a transaction of more than $1,000 through these methods. There is no reason an offender should need a large sum of money! Should you be requested to submit a large sum of money, ask the offender why, then call the facility and discuss the matter with their Case Manager. 

Please explain the level system! 
The level system determines custody level, job status, program status, and privileges. Levels range from 1 through 4. The higher the level, the better the status. OP-060107, entitled “Systems of Incarceration,” explains this process in detail. This policy may be accessed through the ODOC web page. 

When will a particular offender discharge? 
This falls under confidential information and unless the inquirer can provide a legitimate need (judicial, law enforcement, etc.), this information will not be provided. However, the offender is provided the number of days remaining to serve at the end of each month. This can be calculated into a release date. If the offender is unable to calculate the release date, they may seek assistance from the Records Manager or their Case Manager. If the offender wants you to know their release
date, they can provide it to you. Please note that the release date is tentative and subject to change. If you are a victim concerned about the release of a particular offender, you should call Victim Services, telephone number 405-425-2607, or (in state only) 1-800-232-1524. 

When, and to where, will an offender transfer? 
For reasons of confidentially and security, the specific date will not be provided. However, all transfers require completion of a transfer packet to be completed by the confining facility and submitted to the Population Unit. Unless there are security concerns, the offender will be advised by their Case Manager when a transfer packet has been completed and submitted. The Population Unit will determine when and to where the offender is transferred. All transfers will occur as soon as
possible, usually contingent upon the availability of appropriate bed space. Your calls will not expedite transfer!

How does the offender misconduct appeal process work? 
The disciplinary process, to include appeals, is specified per OP-060125, entitled “Department Offender Disciplinary Procedures.” 

What is the policy for restoration of lost earned credit? 
This process is detailed in OP-060211, entitled “Sentence Administration.” This is a lengthy policy. Check the index for the specific page. Access through the ODOC web page. 

How much money can an offender have/spend? 
This is specified under OP-060107, entitled “Systems of Incarceration.” Offenders may spend: $80 per week. Please note that only offenders assigned to community status may actually possess money. There is no limit to the amount of money an offender may have in their account. 

How do I find out about the medical status of an offender? 
All offenders are requested to provide the name and telephone number of the person they desire to be contacted in case of an emergency. In the event of a medical emergency, the designated person will be contacted. The medical status of an offender is confidential and will be provided only if the offender signs a Consent to Release Medical Information form (available to the offender from medical staff) designating a specific person or persons. 

What religious services are available? 
Offenders assigned to community status may attend religious services in the community under escort of an authorized religious volunteer. Approved volunteers may also provide on center services at all security levels. Offenders assigned to minimum, medium, or maximum institutions have access to a non-denominational chaplain. Authorized volunteers may also provide religious services. All offenders may receive religious materials through the mail. 

What is the difference in security levels and how is the level determined? 
Security level is determined through the completion of a Custody Assessment form. This form utilizes weights (points) assigned to several considerations such as crime and length of sentence. The total score determines the custody level. This process is detailed per OP-060103. To review this procedure, visit the ODOC web page. 

How do I go about acquiring offender labor? 
Offender labor is available only to public agencies as authorized per State Statute Title 57, Section 215, entitled “Prisoners Public Work Act.” Representatives of a public agency desiring to utilize offender labor should contact the nearest facility or center. Only offenders assigned to minimum facilities or community centers may participate. 

Please explain the Regimented Offender Discipline (RID) program.
This program is detailed per OP-060210, entitled “Delayed Sentencing Program For Confined Offenders.” To access, visit the ODOC web page. 

How many offenders are housed at your facility/how many cells, rooms, and dorms? 
Visit the ODOC web page and click facilities. Then click the facility in question. If the facility site does not adequately address your question, call the telephone number provided and request to speak with the Public Information Officer. 

How do you monitor an offender when they are working or attending an activity outside the
facility/center? 

These offenders are either supervised by ODOC staff, by a trained PPWP supervisor, or trained volunteer. All PPWP supervisors and volunteers must participate in an orientation conducted by ODOC. The supervisor or volunteer must report to the control center, provide proper identification, and the participating offenders must sign out at the time of departure and sign in upon return. Also, ODOC staff periodically conduct unannounced site checks.

Explain the electronic monitoring program and eligibility requirements. 
This program is detailed per OP-061001, entitled "Global Position Satellite Surveillance Program." Visit the ODOC web page.    

Do offenders receive medical and dental care? 
The ODOC will ensure that every offender has unimpeded access to health care. This process is detailed per OP-140117, entitled "Access to Health Care." To view, visit the ODOC web page.     

Is it possible for an offender to receive medical or dental care from the private sector? 
Under some circumstances, yes. However, the offender must provide proof that the cost of the services will be covered. For specifics, visit the ODOC web page: OP-140121 VI.      

Can an offender attend a funeral? 
Escorted emergency leave may be granted to an offender, not deemed to be a threat, to visit the bedside of a critically ill family member or to attend the funeral of a family member. Family member is defined as spouse, natural parents, children (to include step and adopted children) and upon acceptable documentation, any person who served in a parental capacity. Extended family is defined as grandparents and siblings. However, only offenders at minimum security or below may be approved for bedside or funeral visits for extended family. For further clarification see OP-031001, entitled "Offender Escorted Leave/Activities" on the ODOC web page. Check the index for emergency leave to determine the proper page.     

Can an offender attend a wedding, graduation, or other family event? 
No, offenders may not attend events such as these. For further clarification, review "Offender Escorted Leave/Activities" as detailed in the preceding response.     

How do I go about acquiring volunteer status? 
This is detailed per OP-090211, entitled "Volunteer Program." Visit the ODOC web page.    

If I have concerns or questions about an offender who should I contact? 
The offender’s case manager is the person you should contact. If you do not know who the case manager is, call the facility and request to speak with the Records Officer. He/she can assist you. 

Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about a sex offender? 
Contact the ODOC Sex Offenders Registration Unit by calling 405-425-2872. 

If I have questions about the parole process and/or the parole status of an offender, who do I contact? 
The Pardon and Parole Board is a separate state agency independent of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Questions pertaining to parole should be directed to the Pardon and Parole Board, telephone number 405-602-5863. 

Who do I contact if I have questions about a private prison? 
Contact the ODOC Private Prisons and Jail Administration Unit by calling 405-425-7100. 

     

Population

Corrections Compact

What states does Oklahoma have Corrections Compact Agreements?

Oklahoma has corrections compact agreement with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Federal Corr, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, andWyoming.

My son/daughter is incarcerated in Oklahoma and I live in another state. How can they get transferred here?

They must first meet the following criteria:

  • Offender is more than one year from projected release date,
  • There exists extenuating compassionate circumstances which demonstrate the transfer to be in the best interest of the offender. At a minimum, there is a verified support system in the requested state and the offender has shown the ability to finance all transportationcosts associated with this transfer,
  • Must have 12 months clear conduct, and 
  • Must have the ability to pay ofr all travel expenses incurred for the transfer.

If these criteria are met, they will need to contact their case manager and request an ICC transfer packet be submitted. The receiving state must

approve the transfer. As well, if transfer request is approved, the receiving state will determine facility placement.

My son/daughter is incarcerated in another state and I live in Oklahoma. How can they get transferred here?

This transfer request must be made by the state in which the offender is incarcerated.

County Jails

What is the process for getting an offender on the waiting list to be transferred to DOC custody?
The county is responsible to forward a copy of the sentencing documents to DOC. Once received, the documents are reviewed and the offender is placed on a waiting list. Counties are scheduled in as bed space becomes available.

How long will the offender be held in the county jail after sentencing?
The Department of Corrections has approximately 1,750 offenders holding in county jails. Normally, it will be 6-9 months after sentencing before the offender will be scheduled to be transported in DOC custody. Offenders with very short sentences or those scheduled to be returned to court after program completion will normally receive priority for transfer into custody.

What if the offender has medical issues?
The county jails are responsible to communicate significant health issues of offenders to DOC.
Offenders are screened in on an individual basis by DOC medical to determine whether an
immediate transfer from county jail is warranted. Upon notification from DOC medical, a
transfer will be scheduled.

What property is an offender allowed to bring with them from county jail?

Offenders arriving from a county jail at the assessment and reception center will be allowed:

  • Legal material -1 cubic foot limit of legal papers
  • Prescription medicine (Only medication delivered by the transporting county will be
  • authorized)
  • Money-(Money orders, checks from county or sheriff ’s office)
  • One wedding band-plain, no stones
  • Prescription glasses
  • Watch-replacement value not to exceed $50

Jail Time

Will the offender receive credit for their time in the county jail?
57 O.S. Section 138 provides that all offenders sentenced to the Oklahoma Department of
Corrections to a term of incarceration are entitled to a deduction from the length of confinement
equal to the number of days spent in the county jail or state mental institution, if court ordered,
under the same case number. A judge may specifically order that an offender not receive jail
time credits up to the date of sentencing.

Will the offender receive earned credits while waiting to be transferred to DOC custody?
Offenders sentenced to imprisonment in the Department of Corrections, but detained in the
county jail as a result of the department’s reception scheduling procedure, will be awarded
earned credits at the rate of Class Level 2 beginning the date of the Judgment and Sentence
through the day of reception.

Credit will not be awarded to any offender convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense
committed in the jail while awaiting transportation.

Length of Time in A and R

How long will the offender be at Lexington Assessment and Reception Center (LARC - Male) and Mabel Bassett Assessment and Reception Center (MBARC - Female), hereinafter referred to as A and R?
The time at A and R will vary. The assessment process takes approximately two weeks, but transfers
from A and R are directly linked to available bed space.

Reception - Initial Assessments

How do you determine an offender’s custody level?
We base an offender’s custody level by assigning a numeric value to behavior (past and present). We consider current crime, the number of prior felony convictions and the severity of those prior crimes, escape history, misconduct history and current age.

The custody rating recommendation derived from these items is used, in combination with other specified information to make decisions relating to the offender’s housing assignment and supervision requirements. The custody rating recommendation may be changed due to management considerations that warrant special attention.

How is it determined what programs an offender is assessed?
Offender program needs are based on the crime, length of sentence, physical health, mental health, and assessment instruments completed by assessment staff. Scores combined with court recommendations/orders help determine what programs an offender is assessed.

How is it determined what facility an offender is transferred to from A and  R?
Initial facility assignment is based on crime, sentence length/days remaining, assigned custody level and immediate program needs. What facility an offender is initially placed often is determined by available beds.

Transfers

What is the process for getting an offender transferred?
• Normally, transfers occur only to meet the safety and security needs of the facility or offender, assessed program
needs or when an offender incurs a security level modification.
• A transfer packet must be submitted by the requesting facility to the population unit. Once received, it is reviewed
for eligibility and accuracy.
• Once approved, the transfer will be scheduled according to priority and bed space availability.
• If denied, the packet is returned to the requesting facility.

MOVEMENT/TRANSFERS
What types of movement/transfers are there?
Transfers are done for numerous reasons, i.e. the safety and security needs of the facility or offender, offender’s conduct,
programmatic, protective custody, changes in security points.
WAITING LIST
How are transfer packet requests monitored?
Transfer packets are kept by a priority system. If an offender has a balance suspended sentence or a Judicial Review or
has a protective measures or protective custody need he will have priority over someone that does not.
11 Guide for Families & Friends of Offenders