Avalon halfway house shuts its doors


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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 1/15 8:12 pm Published: 1/15 7:45 pm


The Department of Corrections announced it's shutting down the minimum security Avalon halfway house.

Close to 400 prisoners will be moving out of downtown Tulsa next week and 40 employees will be out of a job.

"I've only been here a few days, but I mean I haven't really seen anything that's out of ordinary or out of line that I think they should actually close the place for," said Zach Gage, Avalon inmate.

Gage ended up at Avalon after he was caught dealing drugs.

"It means a lot to me. I was really thankful. It was a blessing that I got what I got instead of what I could have got," Gage said.

What he could have got was serious time in a state prison since it wasn't his first drug offense. Instead he ended up at Avalon and with a job at Mcdonald's that he can go to every afternoon.

"That's why I think this place is a pretty good place. I mean, it's given me a chance to make a second chance for myself, " said Gage.

Staff members told FOX23 News the investigation stems from one incident in which an inmate got cellphone video of other inmates fighting and staff members allowing it to happen.

Those staff members tell FOX23 the situation was handled properly internally and that the state has no reason to close the place down.

One staffer broke down talking to us and was devastated she would lose her job on Tuesday.

Gage is just as upset that he and about 100 other inmates will also lose their jobs. On top of that he's among close to 400 inmates who will be moved around the state.

The DOC would not give FOX23 any other details about what else Avalon is being investigated for because the investigation is ongoing.

In a written statement the president of Avalon told FOX23 the DOC also has not told him what else they are investigating.

He also said inmates here at the facility are signing a petition asking the DOC to keep the place open.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Gregg777 - 1/16/2014 9:18 AM
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Avalon has been corrupt since 1996. So many administration changes regarding staff. Inmates being allowed to leave after count times at night. They just add them to the count sheet. And most all of the corruption that is and has been going on there is due to Staff being paid off by the inmates because we all know what money can buy when most of the inmates make more money than the staff members. If it was run by another company, I could see where it would work, or somehow allow Oklahomas own Department of Corrections Officers to be employed there and change everything including the Matrix and then follow DOC Ops regarding Halfway Houses. Otherwise close it down.
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