Several changes have been made at a halfway house in downtown Tulsa since it reopened under new policies provided by the department of corrections.
Officials at the Avalon Correctional Center opened their doors to KTUL Monday morning since it underwent those changes. In January, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections ordered the halfway house to close after allegations of drug use and mismanagement surfaced.
"Some of them were policy changes and some were actual physical plan changes," Avalon's President Brian Costello said. "That includes taking ceilings...and replacing them with hard ceilings. we took all the baseboards, which were rubberized baseboards which could be easily pulled out, and replaced them with screwed in six inch wooden baseboards that couldn't be removed."
Costello told KTUL that the revisions were made to keep track of inmates, reduce possible possession of contraband and increase security. Avalon in Tulsa now has new metal detectors, an additional 22 security cameras and newly renovated dorm rooms.
Previous reports detail the list of changes the D.O.C. provided Avalon before a contract could be renewed. Those changes were described in a letter, among them being:
- Submitted structured lesson plans
- One case manager per 65 offenders
- Submit a corrective plan of action to maintain with DOC policy
- New security updates at the Tulsa facility
- Separating DOC offenders from private pay offenders
"We certainly hope that we don't have to go through an experience like we went through again and with the things that are in place right now I believe that we won't see that again." Costello added.