|Above: From left, Oklahoma Department of Corrections Chief of Operations Justin Farris, Chief of Staff Clint Castleberry and Director Scott Crow pose for a photo with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Cross-Agency Collaboration Award. Nominated by multiple state agencies, ODOC received its award for its phenomenal collaboration with other government entities last year in public safety reform.|
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) was recently recognized by the governor’s office for our work with other state agencies to move the needle on public safety reform.
During a state agency leadership workshop, John Budd, the state’s chief operating officer, presented to ODOC Director Scott Crow the Cross-Agency Collaboration Award. Budd highlighted several accomplishments, including the agency working with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services on a new data management system; collaborating with the Pardon and Parole Board to prepare for a history-making single-stage commutation docket; partnering with several agencies, community partners and the Governor’s Office to hold first-of-its-kind inmate transition fairs; and teaming up with the Department of Public Safety to help inmates obtain a driver’s license or identification cards before release.
State agencies submitted nominations for this award and several others to recognize a new emphasis in state government on sharing ideas, resources and information to improve efficiency.
“I appreciate the Governor’s Office for this recognition of DOC staff and their commitment to partnering with other state government agencies,” Director Crow said. “When agencies work together, we build a team of experts whose sole purpose is to improve government outcomes and responsiveness to the citizens we all serve.”
Offender Management System (OMS)
ODOC has begun a digital transformation process to modernize the outdated electronic offender management system. The agency issued a request for proposals to replace the system last August. The new OMS will interface with many public safety entities, sharing, in real time, critical offender information; save thousands of man hours wasted on server timeouts and crude longhand calculations for release dates; and allow for the timely collection of data critical to public safety. Currently, ODOC staff are scrubbing old data, the first step for entry into the new system. The project is on track to have components operational this year.
Single-Stage Commutation docket
ODOC played a key role leading up to and after the largest single-day commutation in United States history, one that, last November, commuted the sentences of hundreds of inmates serving time for convictions for crimes no longer considered felonies.
A new law made retroactive State Question 780, which lowered penalties for drug and drug-related crimes and changed how the state prosecutes those crimes.
ODOC worked with the Pardon and Parole Board, the Governor’s Office, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma District Attorneys Council and the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety for months ahead of when the law was to take effect.
Transition Fairs at 28 Facilities across Oklahoma
Also during last fall’s commutation project, the ODOC held its first ever transition fairs at 28 facilities across the state, targeting inmates considered for commutation through HB 1269. More than 200 people from 45 community partners, nonprofits and state agencies participated. These fairs connected more than 780 inmates with services they would need after discharge. The agency is also working on a plan to develop transition centers for releasing inmates.
During the commutation project and afterward, ODOC made it a priority to help eligible inmates obtain a valid state-issued driver’s license or state-issued identification card before discharge. Addressing this need required considerable coordination between ODOC and the Department of Public Safety, with funding from the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Arnall Family Foundation, along with assistance from TEEM (The Education and Employment Ministry). Of the 422 inmates commuted and released in November, two dozen left prison with a driver’s license and 115 with an ID card. ODOC will continue working to further this effort with state and community partners.