Top 10 Worst Prisons in Oklahoma – [Each Explained]
Top 10 Worst Prisons in Oklahoma – [Each Explained]

Top 10 Worst Prisons in Oklahoma – [Each Explained]


Oklahoma, a state known for its wide-open plains and rich Native American heritage, is also home to a darker side of society – its prison system. While prisons serve as institutions for punishment and rehabilitation, some facilities have gained notoriety for their harsh conditions and alarming rates of violence. In this article, we delve into the depths of the Oklahoma prison system to uncover the top 10 worst prisons in the state. Brace yourself for an eye-opening journey into a world few venture to explore.

Top 10 Worst Prisons in Oklahoma

The state of Oklahoma houses several correctional facilities, each with its own unique set of challenges. However, based on various factors such as inmate safety, living conditions, and overall reputation, the following ten prisons have been identified as the worst in the state:

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these prisons and the reasons behind their inclusion on this list.

1. McAlester State Penitentiary

McAlester State Penitentiary, located in McAlester, Oklahoma, has gained a reputation for its high levels of violence and gang activity. With a history dating back to 1908, this maximum-security facility houses some of the state’s most dangerous criminals. Overcrowding exacerbates the already tense atmosphere, leading to an increased risk of inmate-on-inmate assaults.

2. Joseph Harp Correctional Center

Joseph Harp Correctional Center, situated in Lexington, Oklahoma, faces significant challenges due to its understaffing issues. This medium-security prison struggles to maintain order and control, resulting in a higher likelihood of violent incidents. Additionally, the lack of resources and programming limits the potential for inmate rehabilitation, further contributing to the prison’s negative reputation.

3. North Fork Correctional Facility

Located in Sayre, Oklahoma, the North Fork Correctional Facility is a private prison operated by the Corrections Corporation of America. This facility has faced criticism for its inadequate medical care and frequent staff turnover, which undermines the safety and well-being of the inmates. The profit-driven nature of private prisons often leads to cost-cutting measures that compromise the overall quality of care provided.

4. Cimarron Correctional Facility

Cimarron Correctional Facility, situated in Cushing, Oklahoma, has earned a spot on this list due to its numerous security breaches. The facility has struggled to prevent contraband from entering the prison, resulting in a rise in drug-related incidents and violence among inmates. These challenges raise concerns about the effectiveness of the prison’s security protocols.

5. Dick Conner Correctional Center

Dick Conner Correctional Center, located in Hominy, Oklahoma, has faced ongoing issues related to understaffing, which puts both inmates and staff at risk. The shortage of correctional officers compromises the facility’s ability to maintain order and respond effectively to emergencies. This, in turn, contributes to a hostile and unsafe environment for all involved.

6. Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Known as “Big Mac,” the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is the oldest prison in the state and one of the most dangerous. Situated in McAlester, Oklahoma, this maximum-security facility houses death row inmates and those serving life sentences. The prison has experienced numerous riots and violent incidents throughout its history, leading to a reputation for brutality and a lack of effective rehabilitation programs.

7. Davis Correctional Facility

Davis Correctional Facility, located in Holdenville, Oklahoma, faces significant challenges regarding overcrowding and staff turnover. The facility struggles to provide adequate resources and programming for inmates due to limited funding. These conditions create an environment ripe for violence and hinder the possibility of successful inmate reintegration into society.

8. Lexington Assessment and Reception Center

The Lexington Assessment and Reception Center in Lexington, Oklahoma, serves as the primary intake facility for male inmates entering the Oklahoma Department of Corrections system. This center has faced criticism for its poor conditions and lack of medical care. Inadequate assessment and classification processes increase the risk of housing incompatible inmates together, leading to heightened tensions and violence.

9. William S. Key Correctional Center

William S. Key Correctional Center, situated in Fort Supply, Oklahoma, suffers from severe understaffing and limited resources. The shortage of correctional officers undermines the facility’s ability to maintain order and safety within its walls. As a result, the prison struggles to provide a secure and rehabilitative environment for its inmates.

10. Jess Dunn Correctional Center

Jess Dunn Correctional Center, located in Taft, Oklahoma, faces significant challenges related to violence and security. This medium-security facility has struggled to prevent inmate-on-inmate assaults, leading to concerns about the safety of the incarcerated population. The lack of effective measures to address these issues contributes to the prison’s inclusion on this list.

These ten prisons represent some of the most challenging environments within the Oklahoma prison system. While efforts are being made to address the issues faced by these facilities, significant improvements are necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of both inmates and staff.


Q1: What are the criteria for determining the worst prisons in Oklahoma?

A1: The selection of the top 10 worst prisons in Oklahoma is based on factors such as inmate safety, living conditions, levels of violence, and overall reputation within the prison system.

Q2: Are these prisons being improved or closed down?

A2: Efforts are being made to address the challenges faced by these prisons, including measures to improve staffing, security, and rehabilitation programs. However, significant improvements are still needed to create safer and more conducive environments for inmates.

Q3: Are there any plans to build new prisons in Oklahoma?

A3: As of now, there are no immediate plans to build new prisons in Oklahoma. However, the state continues to explore strategies to address the overcrowding and other issues plaguing its existing prison system.

Q4: How does the Oklahoma prison system compare to other states?

A4: The Oklahoma prison system faces significant challenges, including high rates of incarceration, overcrowding, and limited resources. These factors contribute to a complex and strained environment within the state’s correctional facilities. However, it’s important to note that each state has its own unique set of circumstances and challenges within its prison system.

Q5: Are there any success stories of rehabilitation within Oklahoma’s prison system?

A5: Despite the difficulties faced by the Oklahoma prison system, there have been instances of successful inmate rehabilitation. Through the implementation of effective programming and support systems, some individuals have been able to turn their lives around and reintegrate into society positively.

Q6: How can the public support positive change within the Oklahoma prison system?

A6: The public can support positive change within the Oklahoma prison system by advocating for reforms, engaging with local legislators, and supporting organizations working towards improving conditions and rehabilitation opportunities for inmates.


The top 10 worst prisons in Oklahoma reveal a harsh reality within the state’s correctional system. From issues of violence and overcrowding to inadequate resources and rehabilitation programs, these facilities face significant challenges that compromise inmate safety and well-being. It is crucial to address these issues to create a more effective and humane prison system that promotes rehabilitation and reduces recidivism rates. Only through concerted efforts and ongoing reforms can Oklahoma’s prisons evolve into institutions that prioritize both punishment and the opportunity for positive change.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *