State Corrections continues providing essential services during state of emergency
Ponca City Now - March 20, 2020 3:46 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY –The Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues providing services essential to protect staff, the public and inmates, despite the current state of emergency.
While the work of every employee is essential to meeting ODOC’s legal and constitutional responsibilities to care for inmates 24 hours a day, the agency has identified staff who have the tools and technology necessary to perform their duties outside the office.
ODOC Director Scott Crow has enacted a multi-phase telework plan. The first phase allows more than 600 staff to work from home. Within two to four weeks, more staff will begin teleworking as the agency acquires additional needed equipment, including laptop computers. Additional staff may be considered for telework status later.
While there is no set date to end the telework program, ODOC may call telework employees back to their work locations to fulfill their job duties, as necessary.
In the meantime, all facility staff, ranging from case managers and security staff to teachers, health care and administrative staff to maintenance crews, continue to report for work at their normal locations. These staff members not only provide security behind the wire, but also offer inmates constructive activities to mitigate anxiety due to suspended visitation and volunteer access.
ODOC continues to enhance sanitation and cleaning requirements inside all facilities and screens all staff daily for COVID-19 symptoms. Medical staff inside facilities are following pandemic protocols, which provide screening and treatment guidance based on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
For the public, ODOC has established an Update Line – 405-425-2556 – for information related to the pandemic, including updates on facility access, visitation, and other news. ODOC’s social media and website, doc.ok.gov, also feature updates on the agency’s response to this state of emergency.