New Head Of Oklahoma's DOC Faces Many Problems

Friday, January 17th 2014, 11:18 pm
By: News On 6

There's a new man in charge of the Oklahoma prison system. He's Robert Patton.

He comes from Arizona and he takes over a system facing some serious problems.

Oklahoma's prisons are now at more than 99 percent capacity and rank last in the nation in many categories. He's also facing the ongoing investigation of the Avalon Center, a privately run Tulsa men's halfway house.

At the heart of the investigation is a video which shows a fight between inmates that other inmates claim was encouraged by corrections officers.

1/16/14 Related Story: Attorney Releases Video Of Inmates Fighting At Tulsa Halfway House Set To Close

On Friday, Avalon's president, Brian Costello, went before the Department of Corrections with what he says are the center's two main issues, internal security and a lack of confidence in the administration.

He wants to remove the administrator and have the D.O.C. monitor Avalon until the investigations are finished.

Kevin Gross, the Board of Corrections Chairman, said, "We need the capacity that halfway houses provide and we want to try and resolve these issues.

The D.O.C. has canceled its contract with Avalon and given them ten days to move all 200 men there to other halfway houses.