Several public safety concerns, including events leading up to an inmate's death, has prompted the state corrections department to terminate a contract with an Oklahoma City halfway house.
The ODOC terminated a contract with Catalyst Behavioral Services citing lapses in inmate safety and security. Approximately 109 inmates were being moved Monday morning from Catalyst's Invahoe and Cameo location at 415 NW 8 to other locations.
Inmate Justin Sullivan left on Nov. 11 with inmate Carlton Franklin. The DOC said Sullivan and his girlfriend's remains in a burned out vehicle in Ardmore less than 24 hours later. This was reportedly 16 hours before Catalyst staff knew he was missing.
"They came from this facility," DOC Director Joe Allbaugh said of Sullivan and Franklin. "They were walkaways, and it wasn't until our staff notified Catalyst staff that they even knew that these individuals were gone."
The two deaths have been ruled as homicides.
Franklin returned to the halfway house on Nov. 11, but left again the next day. He was arrested four days later in Tulsa on an armed robbery complaint. Tulsa police said he managed to only steal $1 during the armed robbery. Investigators are still trying to determine if he played a role in Sullivan's death.
ODOC staff took over the facility on Nov. 23.
ODOC said officials uncovered evidence that private individuals were able to enter and exit the halfway house without security’s knowledge.
"Staff couldn't even get in the rooms. They didn't have a master key to conduct the count. These are simple things that are basic requirement for anyone who does business with us," Allbaugh said.
Allbaugh is now putting other contractors on notice.
"This should be a wake-up call to them that I'm not going to tolerate this kinds of behavior nor lack of safety and security," he said.
Monday’s decision does not affect DOC’s contract with Catalyst to operate a halfway house in Enid. No issues of significance have taken place at that facility.
Catalyst has been a contractor with ODOC for approximately 14 years.