Alva Review-Courier -

Computer to run sound, video for BJCC chapel approved


The Bill Johnson Correctional Center (BJCC) Citizens Advisory Committee met Thursday following the GED graduation ceremony at the prison.

BJCC Warden Becky Guffy reported BJCC currently has 440 inmates with 130 employees including 53 officers. When William S. Key Correctional closed, BJCC absorbed 29 employees including 14 officers. “That was a tremendous help to us,” she said.

Suddenly BJCC has “lots of people with lots of experience,” Guffy added. She said the new staff “hit the ground running.”

On April 1, a new mandate on Covid-19 was issued. Now masks are optional at BJCC although they continue with fogging and sanitation measures. She said it was nice to be able to hold face-to-face classes.

Guffy spoke about a new service for inmates. B & H Construction comes into the facility to do interviews with inmates who are nearing release. They offer employment and housing. B & H is a faith-based organization that requires drug tests and attendance at church every week.

Among those transferring from William S. Key, BJCC now has two employees who teach Career Tech courses in job readiness and basic construction. B&H is working on a grant to get a heavy equipment simulator to offer more training and a certification.

Guffy said BJCC is also looking at providing inmate work crews again for NWOSU and the City of Alva. She said the inmate count is down from five or six years ago so the crews will be smaller.

Treasurer Freelin Roberts reported the Chapel Care Fund of the Citizens Advisory Committee has a balance of $5,672.00. He said the committee is affiliated with the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma. Communities administer the account and invest the funds. That account balance is $54,988.28.

Guffy asked the committee’s help with a need for the chapel at the prison. The family of Dr. Chuck Gasaway, a volunteer at the prison for many years, gave BJCC a memorial of $875 to benefit the chapel. The money was deposited in the Citizens Advisory account.

Crossings Church donated two big flat-screen TVs and a sound system for the chapel. Guffy said they need a computer to run the equipment. She provided quotes from two local businesses and asked if the committee would consider paying for the computer. They approved the expenditure so Guffy will handle the purchase.


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