Oklahoma female juvenile offenders to have own medium-security facility

Female juvenile offenders now housed at a mixed-gender, medium-security facility in Tecumseh soon will be transferred to a privately run facility in Norman that is just for girls.
by Randy Ellis Modified: August 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm •  Published: August 23, 2013
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NORMAN — Female juvenile offenders now housed at a mixed-gender medium-security facility in Tecumseh soon will be transferred to a privately run facility in Norman that is just for girls.

“We are very optimistic about this because it will provide improved treatment for the girls and allows gender specific treatment for the boys in COJC (the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh),” said Keith Wilson, executive director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

“It will eliminate the difficulties that exist when you have girls and boys at the same facility. The other benefit this provides is opening more beds at COJC for boys.”

The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs plans to begin processing the female offenders Monday and hopes to have the transfers complete by the end of September, said Paula Christiansen, spokeswoman for the agency.

Privately run Southern Plains Treatment Services will operate the Norman facility under a contract signed in July. An existing facility is being modified to handle juvenile offenders.

The contract requires Southern Plains Treatment Services to have 22 beds reserved for girls, the same number of beds currently reserved for girls at COJC.

The Office of Juvenile Affairs is paying for the transition and first year's expenses out of a revolving fund, she said. The agency expects to approach the Legislature about providing funds for future operations.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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