The Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced Friday afternoon it was terminating its contract with two inmate halfway houses, the Turley Residential Center for females in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Halfway House for males in Oklahoma City.
In a media release, the Department of Corrections stated it is ending the contracts because more inmates are eligible for global positioning system supervision after changes to state law governing the program.
The Turley Residential Center held 38 inmates as of Friday, but has a capacity for 180 inmates. Its inmates will be moved April 29 to Catalyst Behavioral Services in Enid, the state’s only remaining halfway house for females, according to DOC.
Halfway house inmates are typically serving time for nonviolent crimes, and all are close to finishing their sentences. While at the halfway house, prisoners generally are allowed to go outside of the facility to seek work.
Workers at the Turley Residential Center declined to comment on the contract’s cancellation by DOC, and a supervisor did not return a message left by The Frontier Friday afternoon.
The Turley Residential Center faced several lawsuits in years past, after DOC records showed cases of sexual relationships between staff and inmates, sexual abuse of inmates while on work release, missing inmates and other issues.
CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, purchased the Turley Residential Center in mid-2017, along with several other halfway houses in the state, as the company looked to broaden its offerings to governments beyond private prisons.
ODOC pays CoreCivic $34.22 daily per-inmate to operate the halfway houses, according to DOC, as well as any medical and mental health costs in addition to that daily rate.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ General Counsel David Cincotta has yet to respond to a request for records by The Frontier submitted to the department last week, seeking notices of contract deficiencies and other records pertaining to the halfway houses’ contracts.
The agency’s contract with Oklahoma Halfway House will end June 30, according to DOC. It had 39 male inmates Friday with a capacity of 50. Many of its inmates will have finished their sentences by June 30, but those who remain will be moved to other halfway houses, according to DOC.
“GPS supervision is frequently a better alternative for these qualifying, nonviolent inmates to complete sentences under supervision while gaining work experience, family time, access to services and other necessities,” DOC’s statement read.