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Avalon Correctional Services removes 212 offenders from Tulsa halfway house at Oklahoma Corrections Department's request

Oklahoma-based Avalon Correctional Services Inc. has removed all state offenders from its Tulsa halfway house after the state Corrections Department required them to do so amid three ongoing internal affairs investigations.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: January 22, 2014

— After the Oklahoma Corrections Department canceled its contract amid three ongoing investigations, a private company has removed 212 state offenders from a Tulsa halfway house.

Oklahoma-based Avalon Correctional Services Inc. was given 10 days to take action in a letter from Deputy Director Reginald Hines sent Jan. 14.

The letter says the department has “lost confidence in the administration of the Tulsa facility,” and no offenders will be sent there until after the department has completed and reviewed the findings of the investigations.

One of those investigations pertains to allegations that officers at the Tulsa facility organized fights between offenders, which The Oklahoman first reported Nov. 23.

A video of inmates brawling surrounded by fellow offenders at the facility was made available to the media by Tulsa attorney Louis Bullock last week. Avalon later confirmed the video was shot Aug. 24.

Most of the 212 offenders have been transferred to other private halfway houses, and a small number either have been discharged or placed on GPS monitoring. One was sent to Nowata County jail and one more was paroled. Nine of those transferred were sent to the Carver Transitional Center, another halfway house operated by Avalon.

At a special meeting Friday of the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, Avalon President Brian Costello proposed removing the Tulsa facility's administrator, Donald Coffman, and offered to pay the salary of a full-time Corrections Department employee to monitor necessary changes to reinstate Avalon's contract with the department.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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