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August 4, 2020

McLOUD, Okla. – In “dog years” Thor has been away from his family a long time. But now, this giant English Mastiff is heading home. 

“Until we pulled our masks down, he didn’t recognize us,” Chris Hammons said. “And then he was like, oh, I know you.”  

For the last month, Thor has been attending obedience school inside Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. The Guardian Angels program pairs inmates, like Kimberly, with animals for intensive training. 

“he’s going to be blast,” Kimberly told us last month.  

July 30, 2020

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues to develop and expand the skills of its staff to professionalize its workplace from prison yards to probation offices. In additional to traditional training in self-defense, firearms, and lockdown procedures, ODOC will soon provide employees tools to enhance the interpersonal aspects of their jobs, racial intelligence, creating a more empathic workplace culture. Racial intelligence is less about race and more about respect.

July 28, 2020

ALVA, Okla. – There is a movement underway in Alva, and the plan began in prison. 

Like so many others, Karmen Andrews has grown weary of all the negativity. So, this correctional case manager came up with a wonderful idea. 

Karmen has been the recipient of kindness. Shortly after beginning her career at Bill Johnson Correctional Center, her dad, Stanley, passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease. 

“It was really comforting to now my co-workers really cared about me,” Andrews said. 

And so, Andrews launched a Facebook page – Alva’s Random Acts of Kindness. 

July 25, 2020

ENID, Okla. – The star on the front door would suggest law enforcement. But the employees of Probation and Parole are so much more than that.  

“We are counselors, role models and parental figures,” Officer Tara Coleman said. “Anything they need to succeed and that’s our ultimate goal.”  

The officers have a Mount Everest of cases. But Coleman is frequently reminded, each file represents a person of value.  

A recent trip for a cheeseburger was her confirmation.  

July 22, 2020

Mimicking state trends, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is experiencing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, increasing the cumulative total to 103 across the state. In the past 24 hours, 87 inmates inside one housing unit at the Lexington Correctional Center tested positive for COVID-19. ODOC has placed these inmates in isolation, all of whom reported no symptoms prior to testing. Earlier in the week, the Cleveland County Health Department tested 185 inmates quarantined together after two housed on this unit tested positive during hospital visits. Six tests are pending.

July 21, 2020

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – From the very beginning, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections had a plan to combat an unprecedented pandemic.  

“We have done an excellent job keeping Covid out,” said Jessica Brown, DOC Chief of Strategic Engagement.  

It begins with employees at the front door to every facility.  

“They come in and get their temperature checked,” LARC Warden Jeorld Braggs said. “And when they return to society they will hopefully keep those same practices with them.” 

July 16, 2020

In an effort to compensate for a $24.4 million budget decrease for Fiscal Year 2021, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) will vacate the privately operated Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing. 

July 11, 2020

McLOUD, Okla.-- Tina Hall has always had a healthy appetite for the outdoors.  

“It’s like therapy for me,” Hall said. “I enjoy doing it. Ever since I was a little girl I enjoyed working in the gardens.”  

Before her incarceration, Tina took real pride in maintaining her property. 

“I did this at home too,” Hall said. “I had the prettiest yard in the neighborhood.” 

She asked Mabel Bassett administrators if she could bring that same beauty and dedication to the prison yard. 

July 2, 2020

McLOUD, Okla. – Fans of reality TV will likely recognize the face. Chris Hammons has appeared on Amazing Race, Survivor – and was a Co-Captain on OU’s last national championship team in 2000.  

But today may be his greatest challenge yet. 

“I haven’t cried yet,” Hammons said. “But I may. I’m trying to hold it back.” 

Every week, dogs are brought to Mabel Bassett Correctional Center for obedience training. Hammons is dropping off Thor, a 150-pound pound English Mastiff puppy. 

July 1, 2020

The regularly scheduled Board of Corrections meeting for July at Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft is cancelled.  

Instead, there will be a special meeting held on July 15 at the Ted R. Logan Center within Kate Barnard Correctional Center, 3300 N. Martin Luther King Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK, 73111.