Tulsa Halfway House Sued By 12 Inmates Who Say They Were Forced To Fight

Saturday, April 11th 2015, 10:55 pm
By: News On 6

Twelve former inmates are suing Tulsa's Avalon Correctional Center. In the lawsuit, the men claim "Avalon fostered an atmosphere of crime, manipulation, violence and drugs" instead of helping them rehabilitate.

The Avalon Center is a halfway house where inmates stay towards the end of their sentence.

The for-profit correctional facility is located on Archer Street, just northwest of downtown Tulsa. It's had a troubled history and was closed for a time in 2014 after video surfaced that appeared to show inmates fighting in the presence of guards.

Among the claims, the men say they were "forced to participate in gladiator style fights to avoid discipline or pay off debts."

The plaintiffs also claim "the center used drugs and urine test results to control them as well as make money."

1/15/2014: Related Story: Department Of Corrections: All Offenders To Leave Tulsa's Avalon Center

Last year,the Oklahoma Department of Corrections moved offenders back to Avalon, three months after moving them out for what it called safety and security reasons.

In January 2014, DOC said it was ending its contract with the halfway house and moving out 212 inmates after the facility became the target of three different investigations and a video surfaced of inmates fighting.

In April 2014, DOC began moving 25 inmates per week back to Avalon until it reached full capacity again.

The turnabout came because Avalon reportedly agreed to some physical changes to the structure, as well as adding cameras throughout the facility.

1/16/2014 Related Story: Watch 2014 Video Of Inmates Fighting