Skip to main content

Now hiring at a location near you! Food service; medical, dental and mental health; correctional industries and agri-services; correctional officers; probation and parole officers; administrative staff; and more. Apply today!

Old Oklahoma prison gets second chance as new cadet training academy

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Kate Barnard Correctional Center was once home to hundreds of female offenders. But when the prison closed in 2021, ODOC administrators had a vision for the facility – to give this space a second chance, much like the women who were once incarcerated here.

“We have a new philosophy at DOC – we change lives,” Chief Administrator of Training Anthony Johnston said. “One of the first things we told [the cadets] was, ‘You are the tip of the spear. We have a new attitude, a new mission here at DOC, and you’re the first group with this new mission in mind.’”

After an extensive remodel, the old prison officially became the agency’s new cadet training academy.

“We instill discipline obviously,” Johnston said. “But we want to also instill respect. If they respect themselves and coworkers, that will naturally spill over to the inmates.”

In past years, regional academies were held costing the department money and resources. Centralizing the academy allows for a higher standard of training for future officers.

“I saw the application online and thought, I’ve done corrections before, I can do this,” new cadet Kayla Lewis said. 

The paramilitary academy focuses on more classroom instruction and physical fitness training for recruits. 

“It kind of kicked my butt a little bit, but I expect to be much better over these next few weeks,” cadet Darnell Embry said.

The facility is equipped to host dozens of cadets each academy and contains amenities such as a kitchen, fitness room and male and female living quarters for individuals to stay on-site for the duration of the academy.

“It’s nice to have your own room and privacy,” Embry said. “It’s everything I thought it would be. I like it.”

A new academy, new recruits and a whole new vision. At the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, we change lives.

“We want every cadet who passes through here to be a force multiplier,” Johnston said. “If another person out there who says, if you need some help, I’ll get you some help. They are wearing a uniform. They are an officer, but that’s going to be their front-line job. We are meeting all those needs in hopes of changing a life.”

Last Modified on Apr 07, 2023
Back to Top