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Howard McLeod staff "really step up" amid coronavirus crisis

Thursday, April 23, 2020

ATOKA, Okla. -- It’s not part of his daily job routine. But these days, Howard McLeod Unit Manager James Sutton is saddled with many new responsibilities. 

“I’m happy we all get to work together in this time of uncertainty,” Sutton said. “We are pretty happy to do what we do.” 

That positive attitude is contagious at this facility is southeast Oklahoma. 

During this covid crisis, Warden Deon Clayton says his employees have eagerly stepped up to and do whatever’s necessary, even if that means trading a desk job for a zero-turn mower. 

The employees here are working dutifully to ensure the safety and security of everyone. 

“Our laundry supervisor has been making masks with the help of the inmates. We wanted to make sure we had washable masks for our staff and inmates," Chief Kevin Angel said.   

Under the new prison parameters, it’s impossible for hundreds of inmates to eat together. So, the mailroom supervisor now delivers meals. 

“I start at 6:00am helping with breakfast," Chelsea Catlett said. “Then I start delivering their mail. Just as soon as that’s finished, we start on lunch. Any part of the facility that needs extra hands, you’re there helping them.”  

And you will never hear anyone complaining about additional workloads. 

“Whatever they ask of us, that’s our job,“ Sgt. Arnold Gibson said. 

Whatever the circumstance -- you can always count on the dedicated DOC. 

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