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Oklahoma Halfway House Lax In Overseeing Inmates: Prisons Head

Oklahoma's prison system has struggled for years with overcrowded and dilapidated prisons, many of which were originally designed as hospitals or youth homes. Allbaugh last month told state lawmakers he wants to triple the agency's budget despite the ...

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The state prison system is ending its Oklahoma City contract with halfway house operator Catalyst Behavioral Services, citing lax oversight of inmates — including one inmate whose burned remains were found in a vehicle last month with a womanCatalyst improperly conducted inmate counts, allowed inmates to come and go without accountability and didn't have properly trained staff, among other woes, Joe Allbaugh, the head of the state's prison system, said on MondayState prison officials canceled their contract with Catalyst"The department has been, for years, at wits' end on corralling our halfway houses," Allbaugh said"We are failing at re-entry and this is the first step to instill more accountability in our halfway house system as these men and women return to society." Telephone and email messages left Monday with Catalyst were not immediately returnedInmate Justin Sullivan left the facility Nov11 and was not noticed missing until after Ardmore police found his and a woman's burned bodies in a charred vehicle, Allbaugh saidPolice are investigating the deaths as homicidesAnother inmate walked away from the facility and was arrested four days later in Tulsa for armed robbery, Allbaugh saidMost of the 106 inmates housed at Catalyst's Oklahoma City halfway house loaded up their belongings on Monday and were being transferred to other facilities in the Oklahoma City area, Allbaugh saidAbout a dozen will be sent to a facility in AlvaCatalyst receives $32.50 per inmate per day and also operates a women's halfway house in Enid, although Allbaugh said that contract is not being endedOverall, Oklahoma houses about 1,250 men and women in halfway houses, where inmates are allowed to leave the facilities for approved purposes, like going to work, finding a job or attending church"We're not given enough money to run halfway houses ourselves, so we have to rely on contractors to provide this service," Allbaugh saidOklahoma's prison system has struggled for years with overcrowded and dilapidated prisons, many of which were originally designed as hospitals or youth homesAllbaugh last month told state lawmakers he wants to triple the agency's budget despite the ongoing state budget crisis to fund ongoing repairs and the construction of two new prisonsBy SEAN MURPHY, Associated PressPhoto credit: andibreit via Pixabay   Subscribe   More from Across Oklahoma PatchUp next on Across Oklahoma Patch Oklahoma Sooners Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over TCU Ex-State SenRalph Shortey Admits Child Sex Trafficking Charge 12 Days Of Deals: Style Steals For All More from Across Oklahoma PatchThis Is How Much It Costs To Hire A House Cleaner Ex-State Senator Admits Child Sex Trafficking High Court Denies Case On Rape Convict's Sentence Man Charged With Explosives Plot Fit For Trial Oklahoma City Thunder Fall To Pelicans Baker Mayfield Grabs Crotch, Won't Start In Finale OK Lawmakers See Pay Cut Amid $215M Budget Hole Oklahoma Election Results: Democrats Hopeful How To Sign Up Or Renew Obamacare Plans In OK var disqus_shortname = "patchmedia"; var disqus_identifier = "27381231"; var disqus_title = "Oklahoma Halfway House Lax In Overseeing Inmates: Prisons Head"; var disqus_url = ""; jQuery(document).ready(function() { jQuery('#show-disqus, .btn-comment-now').on('click', function(event){ jQuery.ajax({ type: "GET", url: "", dataType: "script", cache: true }); jQuery('#comments-guidelines').show(); !== 'show-disqus' && jQuery('html, body').animate({ scrollTop: jQuery('#disqus_thread').offset().top - 220 }, 1000); jQuery('#show-disqus').slideUp(); return false; }); location.hash === '#comments' && jQuery('#show-disqus').click(); }); Show Comments Patch Community Guidelines Patch welcomes contributions and comments from our usersWe strive for civil, enlightened discussions on Patch stories and local issuesPlease abide by our posting standards: Be civil No profanity No personal attacks or insults Stay on topic Users who violate our posting rules will have their comments blocked or deletedUsers who flagrantly violate our standards can be banned at the moderator's discretion. × What are Featured Announcements? 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