Halfway house escapes, misconducts are common in Oklahoma, but rarely endanger the community

Escapes and misconducts are plentiful among Oklahoma halfway houses, although the inmates rarely do anything except get themselves in trouble.
Oklahoman Published: July 15, 2012

Escapes and misconducts reported in Oklahoma halfway houses are common, but state Corrections Department records reveal the inmates usually only do themselves harm when they decide to break the rules or leave a facility without permission.

Corrections Department records show Oklahoma inmates finishing their sentences in halfway houses are cited most frequently for being under the influence of drugs.

In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, inmates were cited for being under the influence of drugs 635 times, by far the most frequent misconduct handed out to prisoners.

Inmates' failure to comply with the limits placed on their confinement was next, with inmates cited 169 times over the past two fiscal years.

Cellphones got 144 inmates written up in the two years available for comparison, although those incidents dropped dramatically in 2011.

Inmates also were frequently written up for escaping from the state-contracted halfway houses at a relatively high rate, with 107 inmates cited for going missing during the two years in question.

Escapes were a bigger problem in 2009, when 95 inmates turned up missing from halfway houses in a single year, records show.

Other infractions recorded by the Corrections Department include drug possession, failure to submit to drug testing and helping other inmates break halfway house rules.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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