Halfway House Closes

Security concerns cited in relocation of residents

 


An Oklahoma City halfway house in Midtown has been closed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections effective Monday, Dec. 4. The Ivanhoe and Cameo locations on NW Eighth, between Hudson and Walker, were running under contract with Catalyst Behavioral Services. Matt Elliott, the public information manager for the DOC, said Catalyst has been notified that the contract has been canceled.
 

“These are the only two facilities affected,” Elliott says. “Catalyst has another DOC contract in Enid, but that facility does not have the same security and public safety concerns we have had here.”

Elliott said the two facilities are being closed because of “facility security and public safety concerns,” including private individuals coming and going without Catalyst personnel being aware of their presence. Of more concern was the death of inmate Justin Sullivan. After walking away from the facility on Nov. 11, Ardmore police officers found Sullivan’s charred remains in a car 16 hours before Catalyst personnel were aware of his absence. The Ardmore Police Department is investigating his death as a homicide.

According to Elliott, most of the 106 remaining inmates are being transferred to Oklahoma City corrections facilities, with a few slated to go to Charles E. Johnson Correctional Center in Alva.

“The inmates here are serving out the last of their sentences,” Elliott says. “Many of them have jobs. We are going to keep as many as possible in Oklahoma City, so as not to disrupt their employment and reintegration.”

Corsair Management Company owns the land and buildings on which Ivanhoe and Cameo sit, and the presence of correctional facilities in a rapidly gentrifying urban core has been a subject of concern for some time. Female employees at Elemental Coffee said they have been wolf-whistled, harassed and, in some cases, followed to their vehicles by inmates.

When 405 Magazine talked to Corsair president Scott Smith in May 2017, he said that he could not comment on the future of the two facilities, but did say their presence has not inhibited development in the area. Corsair has not yet returned a call for comment.

 

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