Steven Harpe was appointed Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in October 2022. Since beginning his service to the State of Oklahoma in 2019, Harpe contributed to the success of several agencies.
Prior to joining the corrections team, Harpe was Oklahoma’s chief operating officer. While in this role, he led state agencies to increase efficiencies measured in the areas of finance, human capital, relationships, and business processes. The improved efficiencies saved the state and Oklahoma taxpayers money, while improving the services.
In addition to his role as the state’s COO, Harpe served as the Executive Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration. Harpe became Executive Director of OMES in January 2020 and led improvements to the agency’s culture and services provided to partner agencies.
Chief of Staff
Justin Farris began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in August 1999 as a correctional officer cadet at Mack Alford Correctional Center in Atoka.
During his more than 20 years with ODOC, Farris served as an officer, Oklahoma Correctional Industries (OCI) salesman, OCI sales manager and OCI operational coordinator before being promoted to director of Oklahoma Correctional Industries.
In 2019, Farris was named chief of operations, directly overseeing facility operations, community corrections, community sentencing, and probation and parole services. Since then, he continues to serve in many executive capacities including acting director.
Chief of Operations
Jason Sparks started his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in 2019 with the Office of the Inspector General as a Resident Agent in Charge. He was promoted to deputy inspector general, supervising the Criminal Interdiction unit. He was also the chief administrator of Oklahoma Correctional Industries.
Chief of Programs and Classification
Jason Bryant began his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in 1995 at Bill Johnson Correctional Center as a correctional officer. While at BJCC, Bryant was promoted to case manager, correctional records officer, program director, and case manager IV and was BJCC’s deputy warden from 2012-2015. In 2015, he was confirmed as the warden of the James Crabtree Correctional Center and was responsible for the overall operational and administrative functions. Bryant was assigned to direct the agency's classification system and became the director of the Classification and Population unit in 2018. Starting in 2020, he was confirmed as the chief administrator of the Division of Institutions where he oversaw 16 Oklahoma state facilities, the Population and Classification Unit and the Sentence Administration and Offender Records Unit. In January 2023, Bryant became the Chief of Operations where he acts as a reviewer and adviser to the director for all state facilities, community correctional sites, probation and parole services, population and programs, construction and maintenance, physical security, environmental health and staffing analysis.
Chief Financial Officer
Ashlee Clemmons started her career at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in 2013 as the associate chief financial officer. She was promoted to the director of Business Services in 2013 and was named Chief Financial Officer in April 2020.
Chief Administrator of Health Services
With over 27 years of public service experience, Dana Webb has a well-deserved reputation within Oklahoma state government as an innovative and knowledgeable state leader. Webb currently serves as the chief administrator of Health Services for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
Webb was a key leader in the implementation of a statewide cloud-based human capital management solution that will bring all Oklahoma state agencies onto a central Workday@OK platform for the first time in state history. This two-year initiative that involved extensive collaboration from all state agencies will revolutionize the state’s HR systems and ultimately lead to better services for both state agencies and Oklahoma citizens.
Chief People Officer
Sophie Preston most recently accepted a position as chief people officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, leading a focus on human capital and working with management to define and translate a company culture that respects and empowers employees.
In 2010, Preston joined the Suffolk Constabulary and found her passion for public service. She spent several years learning what it is to serve the public in critical times, including policing the Queen's events, assisting with the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and contributing to and leading high-performing teams.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English, she left her special sergeant role and moved to the United States to begin life across the pond with her U.S. Air Force Veteran husband, John.
They moved to Oklahoma in 2015, where she explored teaching and law enforcement careers before joining the Bryan County Sheriff's Office.
The couple's next move was to Oklahoma City, where Preston joined the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. She has served as a correctional officer, sergeant and training specialist.
Preston then ventured to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, gaining invaluable experience serving the 28,000+ employees of Oklahoma through the Statewide Learning Services and directing training teams.
Sophie is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) practitioner, a communication coach, and a trauma-informed foster parent with multiple certifications to facilitate people-development tools and leadership theories. Sophie enjoys learning and looks forward to graduating from a Master of Leadership program in 2024, applying new skills and leadership insight to her circles of influence.
Kari Hawkins has represented the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for 18 years – four years with ODOC and 14 years with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office.
Hawkins graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor's degree in Marketing and from the University of Tulsa, College of Law: Juris Doctor.
Jacob Wheeler has three years of service with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Prior to coming to ODOC, he served for 11 years at the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office.
Wheeler graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Chief of Offender Advocacy
With passion and dedication for helping others navigate the correctional system, Nicole Flemming happily accepted the Chief of Offender Advocacy position in 2023. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2013 from Ashford University.
Flemming has served in various roles across the agency since 2012 when she began her career with ODOC. In 2019, she developed the Community Outreach Unit where she served crime victims, inmate families and the public. Prior to that, she served as the legal assistant to the Office of the General Counsel and held various roles at Joseph Harp Correctional Center.
In addition to her current position, Flemming is an active crisis negotiator. She has remained active in negotiations for ODOC since 2015. In 2018, she was elected as a board member of the Crisis Negotiators of Oklahoma (CNOK), where she assists in training and serves alongside law enforcement negotiators across the state.
Chief of Public Relations
Kay Thompson accepted the position of chief of Communications in May 2023. As a web and graphic designer, she began her service with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and the State of Oklahoma in 2019. Her next step in state service was joining the Public Affairs division with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. While there, Thompson honed her communications and strategic engagement skills by working closely with other state agencies and divisions and being the marketing lead for the State Suppliers Expo. In April 2023, she returned to ODOC to run the Strategic Communications unit.
Before state service, Thompson worked in the newspaper industry for over 15 years. She ran every aspect of the Okemah News Leader, including graphic design, editing and reporting, and office management.
She earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration Business Management with a Sports Management minor from Oklahoma State University.
Chief of OCI/Agri Services
Jeff Vaughan started his career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections/Agri-Services Division in 1997 as dairy supervisor at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center and that same year promoted to farm coordinator JBCC/Agri-Services. In 2018, he promoted to Agri-Services operations coordinator and then promoted in 2021 to chief administrator of Agri-Services.