Home  /  News  /  Newsroom

Oklahoma Department of Corrections commemorates 50th Anniversary

Oklahoma Department of Corrections commemorates 50th Anniversary

Oklahoma City--The Oklahoma Department of Corrections commemorates its 50th Anniversary Monday, May 8 with a special ceremony in the Senate chambers at the Oklahoma State Capitol beginning at 1 p.m. 

The ODOC was established in 1967, and is responsible for the administration of the state prison system. 

“Much has changed in our society over the course of 50 years,” said ODOC Director Joe Allbaugh. “But one thing remains constant, and that is the hard work of our employees who put their lives on the line every day protecting the citizens of Oklahoma.  On behalf of the DOC, I also want to recognize the 20 individuals who lost their lives over the past 50 years in the line of duty.  Their ultimate sacrifice helped make our state a safer place.” 

The job of the DOC employee has become increasingly difficult as Oklahoma faces an $878 million dollar shortfall.  Budget cuts to state agencies have resulted in often-drastic reductions in force and operating revenue, meaning less employees on staff to handle an increasing workload.  Cuts to the ODOC are nearly $3 million. 

“It’s a tough decision on where to make cuts,” Allbaugh said.  “We are already significantly under-staffed while our prisons remain over-crowded.  That is not a good situation for our employees.  Oklahoma’s prison system is currently operating at 109 percent capacity, and is expected to continue growing.” 

The agency put in place a hiring freeze for all positions, excluding correctional officers, probation and parole officers, food services and medical staff.  A second cost-saving measure involved canceling contracts with 10 county jails, which will result in savings of $775,000 through the end of SFY 17.  Another cost-saving measure was a purchasing freeze that delays many maintenance projects and repairs.   

“Our state’s prison population continues to grow even as our budget continues to shrink,” Allbaugh said.  “Some of our workers have not had a salary increase in over a decade.  While the state’s budget is tight, we simply cannot continue as an agency operating on a shoestring and expect to maintain the safety of our employees as well as the citizens of Oklahoma. 

“As we look back at 1967, I want to say ‘thank you’ to each and every DOC employee for their continued dedication, as well as their commitment to the state and to public safety,” Allbaugh added. “Without them, we could not do the job we are charged with.  I know it is tough, but I know our employees are brave, strong and most of all resilient.  That is what the last 50 years has demonstrated.” 

The 20 DOC individuals killed in the line of duty are Albert J. Cox; Charles D. Powell; D.C. “Pat” Oates; Eugene L. Young; Charles Francis “Frank” Christian; Fred C. Godfrey; Gay Carter; Herman H. Drover; James Payton “Pate” Jones; Jeffery Matthew McCoy; Jess Fulton Dunn; Joe Allen Gamble, Jr.; Kenneth Denton; Raymond L. Chandler; Rex J. Thompson; W.H. “Pat” Riley; W.H. Aston; William C. Turner; William R. Benningfield and William Mayfield. 

Contact DOC

Main Location
3400 North Martin Luther King Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73111-4298

PO Box 11400
Oklahoma City, OK  73136-0400

Phone: (405) 425-2500
Fax: (405) 425-2578

Contact ODOC

In compliance with the reporting requirements of 74 O.S. 3106.4[C], this agency is making known that it stores name, birth date, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, biometric records, Social Security number, official state or government issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, and employer or taxpayer identification numbers.   The personally identifiable data is stored both electronically and in confidential paper files.  The data is shared in compliance with court orders and agreements with other government bodies.

Subscribe to DOC Updates!

 Email Updates 
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Top Resources

Closed Records

Employment Verification (405) 425-2644

Sex and Violent Offender Registration

Victim Services

Community Outreach

Visitation Policy

Volunteer Opportunities

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Onelife at 800-559-9544 or the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Click here for more suicide awareness information.