prison system


The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners voted Monday to make the local jail house and support ICE. The decision is in direct contradiction with a recent Oklahoma County Jail Trust decision to remove an ICE agent from the jail.


State prisoners won’t be getting any more visitors.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced Wednesday it suspended visitation across all of its state-run institutions as a precaution against COVID-19.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the last month there’s been a series of massive COVID-19 outbreaks inside Oklahoma’s state prisons. After the new cases, more than 3,000 prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. The outbreaks renewed calls for expanded COVID-19 testing and spurred changes to prison policy.


The Oklahoma Department of Corrections will now require all of its staff to get tested for COVID-19, a point of conflict between the prison agency and prisoner advocates.


Oklahoma’s coronavirus trends continue to climb in the national rankings.


There are now at least four state prisoners who have died after a COVID-19 diagnosis. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections reported two more deaths Monday night.


Democrats in the State Legislature are asking Gov. Kevin Stitt to require state prison employees be tested for COVID-19, but the Oklahoma Department of Corrections claims requiring testing would be illegal.

Wesley Fryer / Flickr

Another state prisoner diagnosed with COVID has died. The man, incarcerated at Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, was taken to a hospital where he died.

The state medical examiner’s office will determine his cause of death.

Allison Herrera / KOSU

An Oklahoma prisoner who tested positive for COVID-19 died in a hospital on Saturday. The woman, whose name has not been released, was admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms.

She was incarcerated at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center which had 713 positive COVID cases as of Friday.

According to a Department of Corrections news release, the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine what caused her death. Citing medical privacy rules the corrections agency said it would not release her identity.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma prisoner advocates say the conditions in a women's prison in the east-central town of Taft are unacceptable during a pandemic.