Oklahoma Department Of Corrections Names New Director - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Department Of Corrections Names New Director

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The board selected Robert Patton, out of Arizona's state department of corrections. He will be taking on an Oklahoma system that in some categories rank last in the nation. The board selected Robert Patton, out of Arizona's state department of corrections. He will be taking on an Oklahoma system that in some categories rank last in the nation.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Oklahoma Department of corrections has finally hired a new director, after the position was vacant for six months.

The board selected Robert Patton, out of Arizona's state department of corrections. He will be taking on an Oklahoma system that in some categories rank last in the nation.

Oklahoma's prisons are now more than 99-percent occupancy and rank last in officer-to-offender ratio. Patton will now face those issues along with an ongoing investigation into an Oklahoma Halfway House. 

"I have been briefed, briefly, and I have no comment. To be fair, until I read the entire investigation I have no comment," said Patton.

As soon as Patton accepted the position as the new director for Oklahoma's Department of corrections, he knew he was going to be faced with this: The ongoing investigation into a fight between resident at Avalon's Tulsa Male Halfway House. It is a fight that residents claim was encouraged by officers.

"We have no credible evidence to that affect. We would obviously take immediate action if that was the case," said Avalon President, Brian Costello.

During a two hour long executive session, the Board of Corrections discussed Patton's hire as well as the future of the halfway house.

"Hopefully with my comments today, we'll be able to leave the facility open," said Costello.

In a prepared statement to the board Avalon's President Brian Costello addressed two main issues.

"Lack of confidence in administration and offender safety," said Costello.

He proposed the removal of the facility administrator as well as post and pay for a full-time, around the clock DOC monitor in the facility until all investigations are complete.

"We need the capacity that halfway houses provide and we want to work to try and resolve these issues," said board chair Kevin Gross.

Costello confirmed the fight did take place inside the Avalon facility. It occurred in August of last year and was reported in November, which is when Avalon conducted an internal investigation

No decision was reached Friday on the future of the Halfway House. A vote was not scheduled on the agenda.

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