Frequently Asked Questions
What are the security levels at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections?
There are four security levels at Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC). In descending order these are: maximum, medium, minimum and community. While a few facilities house more than one security level of inmate, most have only one level. Inmates assigned to maximum or medium security have generally committed crimes that deem them a threat to the community, or those inmates have proven to be a management problem. Typically, minimum and community inmates have committed drug, alcohol or property-related offenses.
What are typical crimes committed by inmates in the Department of Corrections?
As of March 2021, approximately 44% of Oklahoma inmates are serving under a controlling sentence as follows: Robbery or Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon-85% crime (5.78%), First Degree Murder-85% crime (5.43%), First Degree Murder (4.96%), Distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Deadly Substance (4.74%), Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to a Child-85% crime (4.32%), First Degree Rape-85% crime (4.17%), Child Abuse (4.03%), Assault and/or Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (3.72%), Second Degree Burglary (3.58%), and Trafficking in Illegal Drugs (3.23%).
How much does it cost to incarcerate an inmate?
Costs vary per category of inmate as follows: (2020 actual expenditures) maximum $108.17, medium $61.71, minimum $57.39 and community $64.42.
Do inmates receive pay for work performed during incarceration?
Inmates with institutional job assignments are paid up to $20 per month. Inmates with special skills and good behavior may receive more pay working for Oklahoma Correctional Industries. Paying inmates is as an incentive to perform well and ensures they have money to purchase personal items from the canteen.
Do any jobs/services performed by inmates take away job opportunities from citizens?
Under the provisions of Oklahoma State Statute Title 57, Section 215, entitled “Prisoners Public Work Act,” public agencies may enter into a contract with the ODOC to utilize inmate labor. This act stipulates that inmate labor is not intended to displace employees of the contracting public agency.
Where are you located? What is the facility mailing address?
Please see the Facility Locator Map mailing addresses.
What is the difference between community corrections centers (CCC) and halfway houses?
Both require that the inmate be eligible for assignment to community status as per OP-060104. Assignment to community status is intended to help inmates nearing completion of their term of incarceration adjust and prepare for re-entry into the community. The majority of inmates assigned to CCCs work daily in the local community under the provisions of the Prisoners Public Work Program (PPWP). Some CCC have a few work release allocations. All halfway houses are contracted and operated by the private sector. Inmates assigned to a halfway house are expected to participate in work release.
Can a person convicted of a felony vote?
Title 26 Oklahoma Statutes Section 4-101 states: Persons convicted of a felony shall be eligible to register to vote when they have fully served their sentence of court-mandated calendar days, including any term of incarceration, parole or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court.
Visitation is a problem; can the inmate be transferred closer to home?
Unfortunately, inmates are not transferred to facilities for the convenience of visitation. With over 21,000 inmates incarcerated in our system, it is simply not feasible to transfer an inmate to the facility of choice. Normally, transfers occur only to meet assessed program needs or when an inmate incurs a security level modification.
How much does it cost to feed an inmate?
The average cost per day to feed an inmate is $2.54 at an institution and $2.30 at a community corrections center.
What meal services are provided to inmates?
All inmates are provided three meals per day. At least two of the meals are served “hot”. In some instances, primarily for inmates working away from the institution or center, the noon meal is a sack lunch. The ODOC utilizes a master menu, reviewed and certified by a licensed dietitian, to ensure proper nutritional balance and adequate calorie intake.
Do inmates have to pay any cost for their incarceration or any services they receive during incarceration?
Those inmates assigned to work release and actually receiving a paycheck are charged the daily per diem rate of the center or halfway house to which they are housed, not to exceed 50% of their salary. No other inmates are charged for their incarceration. The only service for which inmates are charged is a $4.00 medical co-payment in accordance with OP-140117. This charge is only for inmate-initiated requests for medical, dental, or optometric service and for each medication issued during an inmate initiated clinic visit. No inmate will be refused health care because of their financial status.
What types of work/services do inmates perform within the community?
Under the provisions of Oklahoma State Statute Title 57, Section 215, entitled, “Prisoners Public Works Act,” public agencies may contract for inmate labor. Such labor could be any labor routinely performed by the public agency. The act stipulates that inmate labor not displace employees of the contracting agency. Additionally, inmate labor may be utilized to benefit the public in emergency situations such as cleaning up after a tornado, ice storm, or flood.
Why do inmates receive career and technical training?
Many inmates lack skills necessary to obtain jobs that pay wages suitable to support themselves and/or their dependents. Career and technical training programs provide these skills. Statistics support that discharging inmates with employable skills are less likely to return to prison. Ninety-four percent of our population will return to society.
What types of recreational/leisure activities are available to inmates?
All inmates have access to reading and writing materials. Inmates restricted to their cell may request institutional library books be provided. Inmates not subject to restricted movement generally have access to activities such as basketball, volleyball, walking, jogging, and exercise equipment. Dominoes, board games, and cards (gambling is prohibited) are also available. Most inmates may also possess a television and radio.
What types of items are available for purchase at the inmate canteen?
Primarily, personal hygiene items, snack foods, and authorized over-the-counter medications. Televisions and radios are also available.
What is the smoking policy?
In accordance with OP-150601, the use of any tobacco or tobacco-like product is prohibited on any and all properties owned, leased, or contracted for use by the ODOC, including but not limited to all buildings, land and vehicles owned, leased, or contracted for use by agencies or instrumentalities of the department. This prohibition applies to all employees, contract employees, service providers, volunteers and visitors as well as inmates.
What programs are available to inmates?
This will vary by facility dependent upon the availability of resources and appropriately trained staff and/or volunteers. Most facilities offer various educational and self-improvement classes as well as substance abuse education. For programs available at a specific facility, please contact the facility and request to speak to the case manager supervisor.
When can I visit?
To become an approved visitor, you must complete a Visitor’s Request Form and submit a copy of a state-issued photo I.D. or driver’s license. Never attempt to visit unless you know you are approved and you know the authorized visiting days and hours. The hours of visitation will be established by the facility; however, the inmate’s security and earned credit level will dictate the number of hours he/she is authorized to visit. Visiting times may also be limited based on the fire marshal’s rated capacity for the facility’s designated visiting area(s). Visiting days will include, but are not limited to, Saturday, Sunday and all state recognized holidays. This information can be found on each facilities' webpage or by calling the facility directly.
What can I bring to visitation?
This will vary due to security level. The inmate in question will generally know and can advise you. You can also call the facility and request to speak with the Visitation Officer.
May children visit/what are the policies for visitation by children?
With facility head approval, children under the age of 18 may be approved to visit. Natural or adopted children of an inmate must be accompanied by an inmate’s approved visitor. All other children must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. In the event a question arises, the visitor may be required to provide documentation, such as a birth certificate, to reflect parentage. For more specific information, review OP-030118.
Can I send an inmate money/how much?
Family and friends may place funds into an inmate’s account using JPay. However, inmates who are housed in private prisons are not included in these deposit program and you will need to follow procedures as dictated by those private facilities.
Please explain the level system.
An inmate’s incarceration will be based on an earned credit level system ranging from 1 through 4 that determines custody level, job status, program status, and privileges. The higher the earned credit level, the better the status. Inmates who are assigned to community corrections may have designated privileges available that are not specifically linked to their assigned earned credit level. Please see OP-060107 for more information.
When will a particular inmate discharge?
An inmate’s release date is confidential information and unless the inquirer can provide a legitimate need (judicial, law enforcement, etc.), this information will not be provided. The inmate is provided the number of days remaining to serve at the end of each month which can be calculated into a release date. If the inmate is unable to calculate the release date, they may seek assistance from the correctional records officer at their facility or their case manager. If the inmate wants you to know their release date, they can provide it to you. Please note that the release date is tentative and subject to change due to changes in earned credit level, misconducts, or application of achievement credits.
When, and to where, will an inmate transfer?
For reasons of confidentially and security, the specific date of transfer will not be provided. All transfers require completion of a transfer packet by the confining facility and submitted to Population Management for approval. Unless there are security concerns, the inmate will be advised by their case manager when a transfer packet has been completed and submitted. Population Management will determine when and to where the inmate is transferred. All transfers will occur as soon as possible, usually contingent upon the availability of appropriate bed space. Phone calls will not expedite transfer.
How does the inmate misconduct appeal process work?
The disciplinary process, to include appeals, is specified per OP-060125, entitled “Department Inmate Disciplinary Procedures.”
What is the policy for restoration of lost earned credit?
Title 57, Section 138(C) provides that earned credits removed for misconduct, nonperformance or disciplinary action may be restored; however, inmates are not entitled to restoration of credits and they must meet the eligibility criteria for consideration. Within 30 days of an inmate meeting the criteria, the case manager will complete the appropriate paperwork and submit to the facility head for review and approval. For more information, please see OP-060211, Section IV.
How much money can an inmate have/spend?
Per OP-060107, inmates may spend up to $80 per week in the canteen. There is no limit to the amount of money an inmate may have in their account.
How do I find out about the medical status of an inmate?
All inmates are requested to provide the name and telephone number of the person they desire to be contacted in case of an emergency. In the event of a medical emergency, the designated person will be contacted. The medical status of an inmate is confidential and will be provided only if the inmate signs a Consent to Release Medical Information form (available to the inmate from medical staff) designating a specific person or persons. The correctional health services administrator at the inmate’s facility may be contacted for updates on the inmate’s medical status.
What religious services are available?
Inmates assigned to community status may attend religious services in the community under escort of an authorized religious volunteer. Approved volunteers may also provide on-center services at all security levels. Inmates assigned to minimum, medium, or maximum institutions have access to a non-denominational chaplain. Authorized volunteers may also provide religious services. All inmates may receive religious materials through the mail.
What is the difference in security levels and how is the level determined?
How do I go about acquiring inmate labor?
Inmate labor is available only to public agencies as authorized per State Statute Title 57, Section 215, Prisoners Public Work Act, and in accordance with OP-090106, Prisoners Public Work Contract and Assignment of Inmates to Public Works Programs. Representatives of a public agency desiring to utilize inmate labor should contact the nearest facility or center. Only inmates assigned to minimum facilities or community centers may participate.
How many inmates are housed at your facility/how many cells, rooms, and dorms?
Please see the Weekly Count Report for number of inmates at each facility.
How do you monitor an inmate when they are working or attending an activity outside the facility/center?
These inmates are either supervised by ODOC staff, by a trained Prisoner Public Works Program (PPWP) supervisor, or trained volunteer. All PPWP supervisors and volunteers must participate in an orientation conducted by ODOC. The supervisor or volunteer must report to the control center, provide proper identification, and the participating inmates must sign out at the time of departure and sign in upon return. Also, ODOC staff periodically conduct unannounced site checks.
Explain the electronic monitoring program and eligibility requirements.
ODOC provides eligible inmates the opportunity for supervised reintegration through home confinement, work release, and community-based treatment and support programs. All inmates placed into supervised reintegration shall be subject to continuous monitoring utilizing global positioning satellite monitoring technology and shall be supervised by probation and parole officers. For more information on the eligibility requirements, please see OP-061001.
Do inmates receive medical and dental care?
ODOC will ensure every inmate has unimpeded access to health care. The Health Services unit is committed to providing appropriate, timely, and quality medical and mental health services to over 21,000 inmates using industry best practices, measurable outcomes, and validated informational sources. Services for medical conditions beyond the scope of ODOC general practitioners are provided through contractual arrangements with qualified medical specialist through the state at no cost to the inmate.
How do I get medical care for an inmate?
Inmates should submit a sick call request to the health services staff at their facility if they need medical attention.
Is it possible for an inmate to receive medical or dental care from the private sector?
Under some circumstances, yes. However, the inmate must provide proof that the cost of the services will be covered. For specifics, please review OP-031001 entitled “Offender Escorted Leave/Activities.
Inmates, whose medical needs require health related services not
available at the ODOC or primary medical contract provider, will have
treatment and/or hospitalization made through an outside community
provider (e.g., physician, emergency room, hospital, etc.).
Can an inmate attend a funeral?
Escorted emergency leave may be granted to inmates at minimum security or below who meet the eligibility criteria in OP-031001, to visit the bedside of a critically ill family member or to attend a viewing of the body or funeral of a family member. Family members are defined as spouse, natural parents, children (to include step and adopted children), and, upon acceptable documentation, any person who served in a parental capacity. For this procedure, extended family is defined as the inmate’s grandparents and siblings. The inmate’s case manager will determine if the inmate is eligible for escorted leave and submit the necessary paperwork.
Can an inmate attend a wedding, graduation, or other family event?
No, inmates may not attend events such as these. For more information, please see OP-031001.
How do I go about acquiring volunteer status?
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, student intern with an established volunteer program, activity or internship, or searching for additional opportunities to serve, please click here.
If I have concerns or questions about an inmate who should I contact?
The inmate’s case manager is the person you should contact. If you do not know who the case manager is, call the facility and request to speak with the records officer and they can assist you with contacting the correct individual.
Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about a sex offender?
Contact the ODOC Sex Offender Registration Unit by calling 405-425-7601.
If I have questions about the parole process and/or the parole status of an inmate, who do I contact?
The Pardon and Parole Board is a separate state agency independent of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Questions pertaining to parole should be directed to the Pardon and Parole Board, telephone number 405-602-5863.
How do I correspond with an inmate?
Letters sent to inmates should include the inmate’s name, ODOC number and facility address on the envelope. All mail addressed to inmates must be received through authorized channels.
Letters for different inmates should not be included in the same envelope. All incoming and outgoing non-privileged mail will be subject to inspection and reading for enforcement of correspondence guidelines and institutional security. Other information regarding mail may be found in OP-030117.
What is a grievance?
The grievance process is available to the inmate/offender to provide a standard method by which the inmate/offender may seek informal and formal administrative decisions or answers to issues or complaints raised by the inmate/offender. A grievance may be used to address issues regarding any policy, procedure, condition of confinement, actions of staff, action of other inmates, and incidents occurring within or under the authority and control of the Department of Corrections, which personally affect the inmate/offender making the complaint, and for which there is a remedy. Grievance information and forms are available through the facility’s law library or case manager. Before filing a formal grievance, the inmate/offender must try to resolve the complaint by talking with the case manager/probation and parole officer/supervising employee.
How do I request protective custody for an inmate?
Protective measures will be taken when there is a reasonable belief an inmate is in imminent danger of physical harm. An inmate may request protective measures by informing facility personnel verbally, followed up by written request. Facility staff may request protective measures without an inmate’s request if there is documented just cause. Additional information can be found in OP-060106.
How long will an inmate spend in the county jail after sentencing before being transferred to assessment and reception?
Normally, it will be 6-9 months after sentencing before the offender will be scheduled to be transported in DOC custody. Offenders with very short sentences or those scheduled to be returned to court after program completion will normally receive priority for transfer into custody.
How do I get an inmate transferred from the county to ODOC custody?
The county is responsible for forwarding a copy of the sentencing documents to ODOC. Once received, the documents are reviewed and the inmate is placed on a waiting list. Inmates are scheduled for transfer to the assessment and reception center as bed space becomes available.
My son/daughter is incarcerated in Oklahoma and I live in another state. How can they get transferred here?
If the inmate is eligible, they will need to contact their case manager and request an Interstate Corrections Compact transfer packet be submitted. The receiving state must approve the transfer. As well, if the transfer request is approved, the receiving state will determine facility placement.
My son/daughter is incarcerated in another state and I live in Oklahoma. How can they get transferred here?
The transfer request must be made by the state in which the inmate is incarcerated.
What is the purpose of the community corrections centers?
The goal of community corrections is to balance the interests and safety of the community while addressing the inmate’s need for reintegration services by providing equitable opportunities and appropriate sanctions for the inmates.
What are the benefits to the community?
Community work projects and public works programs are performed for the convenience, safety, or welfare of the entire community and not the welfare of a specific individual or class of persons. Inmate labor fulfills community projects as well as saving taxpayer dollars without displacement of current jobs. In addition to public works programs, community corrections centers provide a limited number of work release opportunities. Inmates may be gainfully employed on a full-time basis within the community. This assists the inmate and his/her family in the reintegration process.
What are the benefits to the inmate?
It is the intention of the department that the performance of community projects/public works programs by an inmate will:
- Demonstrate the inmate’s willingness to become a useful, productive citizen
- Serve as a deterrent to crime for the inmate and serve as an example to others there is a consequence to unlawful behavior
- Provide rehabilitation
- Provide meaningful work opportunities for the inmate
- Serve as a restorative sanction to the community
- Allows the inmate to reintegrate back into society
How many community corrections centers are in the state and where are they located?
There are six community corrections centers (CCC): Clara Waters CCC; Enid CCC; Lawton CCC; Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center; Oklahoma City CCC; and Union City CCC. In addition, the ODOC contracts with private companies for halfway house placement.
Is there a minimum and maximum number of inmates that can be at a community corrections center?
The recommended number for a community corrections center is 200 and no more than 300.
What type of inmate is eligible to be at a community corrections center?
Inmates must display good behavior and may not pose a threat to the public, employee, or other inmates. Additional criteria can be found at OP-060104.
How much does it cost to house a community corrections inmate?
Approximately $49.41 per day / inmate or $18,035 per year.
How much living space is required for each inmate?
Approximately 50 sq. ft.
What type of work do inmates do in a community corrections center?
Community corrections centers have inmates assigned to work release and Prison Public Work Crews.
What is authorized and not authorized for inmates to do for a community?
Inmates under the custody of ODOC may be assigned to municipalities, counties, other state agencies, or political subdivisions for the purpose of working on projects in the public interest. Inmates will not be assigned to projects on any non-public property. The only exception to this would be if it is for the benefit of the public or the exercise of a governmental function.
What if the inmate escapes from a community corrections center or halfway house?
Efforts will be made to locate and apprehend the inmate. Staff who are certified peace officers may carry a weapon and may participate in the manhunt to apprehend the inmate. If an inmate escapes, call the local law enforcement agency first, followed by the facility staff. Do not attempt to apprehend the inmate.
Global Positioning Satellite (GPS)
What are the objectives of the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Surveillance Program?
The GPS program allows inmates to return to their respective communities to begin the reintegration process. Specifically, it:
- Reduces prison overcrowding with a cost-effective reentry program targeting non-violent inmates.
- Allows for family reunification.
- Allows inmates the opportunity to obtain employment in their local communities and become taxpaying citizens.
- Allows inmates to participate in community-based treatment and support programs with the assistance of their supervision officer.
- Provides an alternative to incarceration for non-violent inmates who do not compromise community safety.
What type of inmate is eligible for the GPS program?
Must be a non-violent inmate serving a sentence of five years or less and whose initial placement is not higher than minimum security level OR a non-violent inmate with no more than 11 months left to serve on their total term of incarcerations. Must have an approved home offer and must be able to remain in the home for at least 90 days. Must currently be assigned to a halfway house, community correctional center, or community work centers.
Are there any exclusionary criteria for the GPS Program?
- Conviction for violent offense within previous 10 years or a current incarceration for a violent offense.
- Inmates convicted of any violation of the Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act.
- Inmates denied parole within the previous 12 months.
- Inmates ever removed from the GPS program, or any other alternative to incarceration program authorized by law, for violation of any rule or condition of the program and reassigned to imprisonment in a correctional facility.
- Inmates convicted of any violation of a protective order or who have an active protection order that was issued under the Protection from Domestic Abuse Act.
- Inmates who have outstanding felony warrants or detainers (to include misdemeanor detainers properly lodged with the Department of Corrections) from another jurisdiction (federal, state, county or municipal).
- Inmates convicted of a sex offense who, upon release from incarceration, would be required by law to register pursuant to the Sex Inmate Registration Act.
- Inmates convicted of racketeering activity.
- Inmates who have escaped from a penal or correctional institution within the previous 10 years.
- Inmates who currently have active misconducts.
Is placement on GPS an automatic process?
No. Placement involves a screening and review process. Each inmate considered for placement in the program has a complete criminal history background review before placement occurs. ODOC reserves the right to deny placement of any inmate considered a security risk or a threat to public safety.
How much does an inmate pay when they are on the GPS program?
Inmates assigned to this program are required to pay ODOC a monitoring fee not to exceed $5.50 per day for passive monitoring or $13.50 per day for active monitoring, not to exceed $300 per month.
Will the inmate need a land line to participate in the GPS program?
Inmates must be able to furnish a cellular phone if required or have telephone equipment and service that supports the monitoring technology.
Can I leave the state if I am on the GPS program?
No, inmates cannot leave the state while on the GPS program.
Who supervises the inmates on the GPS Program?
Probation and Parole is responsible for the supervision of the inmates assigned to the GPS program.
If an inmate waives parole, can they still be considered for the GPS Program?
Yes, if an inmate waives parole, they can be considered for placement on the GPS program. If denied parole, the inmate has to wait 12 months to reapply for the program.
How are victims notified when an inmate is placed on the GPS program?
Notification is provided by VINE (Victim Information and Notification Every day), a 24-hour confidential, computer-assisted service. Victim notification is critical to the victim’s well-being and safety; therefore custody status changes covered in this free service includes inmate transfer, escape, apprehension, release or death. To learn more about Vine or to register you may call toll free 1-877-OK4-VINE or online at VINELink.
Per Oklahoma statue, prior to placement of any eligible inmate assigned to the Electronic Monitoring Program, ODOC is required to deliver a written notification to the sheriff and district attorney of the county, and the chief law enforcement officer of any incorporated city or town in which the inmate is to be monitored and supervised under the program. The district attorney shall disseminate such information to victims of the crime for which the inmate is serving sentence, if any, when the victims are known to live in the same city, town or county.
Probation and Parole
What is the difference between Probation and Parole?
Title 22 Oklahoma Statutes Section 991A authorizes the court to suspend the execution of a sentence in whole or in part, with or without probation. Offenders who receive suspended sentences with probation are supervised by ODOC for a period specified by the Judgment and Sentence.
A parole is recommended by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, granted by the governor, and releases an inmate to the community for the balance of their confinement.
What is the difference between a suspended and a deferred sentence?
A suspended sentence is a conviction with incarceration suspended so the inmate can remain supervised in the community. A conviction can be fully or partially suspended.
A deferred sentence is a type of sentencing agreement in which the sentencing date is deferred to a set time in the future, not to exceed five years from the date the agreement was entered. The inmate is ordered to supervised probation, with a set of rules and conditions issued by the court of jurisdiction. If the inmate complies with the rules and conditions and has no violations, the court may dismiss and expunge the charge. A deferred sentence is not considered a felony conviction. If the inmate violates the rules and conditions of the probation, the sentencing date may be accelerated and the court can then take action to render an appropriate sentence.
Am I eligible to get off probation early?
Yes, if you meet the criteria and are not convicted of a sex offense, you are eligible for a statutory termination at two (2) years.
Can I move to another state?
Yes, if you meet the criteria with the Interstate Compact. The Interstate Compact Agreement provides the sole statutory authority for regulating the transfer of adult parole and probation supervision across state lines. All fifty (50) states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are signatory to the compact.
The purpose of the compact is to enhance the public safety by addressing the supervision requirement of member states and territories when they are directed to provide supervision for offenders whose residences and family resources exist outside their political boundaries.
What is a medical parole?
Per Oklahoma Statute Title 57 Section 332.18, an inmate who is dying, near death, or whose medical condition has rendered the inmate no longer an unreasonable threat to public safety may be considered for medical parole.
How do I get an inmate medically paroled?
The facility medical unit documents the following: diagnosis, prognosis, functional ability, treatment regimen, plan for continuity of care, and resources available (e.g., home offer, community/family support, benefits such as Veteran’s Administration, Indian Health Services, Social Security Insurance) if a medical parole was to be granted. If the inmate meets the criteria as established in OP-060205, Parole Process Procedures, the medical parole recommendation will then be submitted to the Pardon and Parole Board.
If I have questions about the parole process and/or the parole status of an inmate, who do I contact?
The Pardon and Parole Board is a separate state agency independent of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Questions pertaining to parole should be directed to the Pardon and Parole Board at 405-521-6600
Why isn’t an inmate on the parole docket?
Parole dockets are set by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Questions pertaining to parole dockets should be directed to the Pardon and Parole Board at 405-521-6600.