Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority

OCCJA Thanksgiving Dinner


The staff of the Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority were joined by County Commissioners Erik Zoellner and David Walker Tuesday, November 22, 2022 to serve a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner to inmates. Preparations for the dinner started earlier in the week, with anticipation of feeding more than 450 people including staff. According to Executive Director Shannon Clark and Deputy Executive Director Christopher Cook, as an extra touch this year, the 50 turkeys were smoked. Turkeys were donated by the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

This event has proven to be a much-anticipated event among the detainee population, as well as staff. Special thanks to the Detention, Maintenance, and Food Service teams for the success of this Thanksgiving meal.

William Russell Promotion


William Russell is the latest staff member promoted at the Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority. “William Russell was working as a transport officer when Shannon (Clark) and I arrived,” Cook said. “He’s worked the floor - he’s basically done everything within the organization.” Russell’s most recent position was as a case manager or lead detention liaison, working with the U.S. Marshal Service and attorneys, “just making sure the flow of information to and from the inmates and the courts is moving properly,” Cook said. “He has absolutely excelled in that position.” When making a decision to promote a staff member to captain, Cook stated there was one unanimous name that came up, “and that was William Russell, and that was just because of his absolute dedication to doing his job correctly.” “It’s hard to walk around an organization and find someone that everyone universally says ‘I don’t have anything bad to say about that person,’” Cook said, “that is this person.” Joining Russell in the pinning ceremony was his mentor, Captain Shawnda Pruitt, and Leighton McComas, Director of Operations. Cook also read Russell’s Certificate of Promotion, which stated that his actions “truly merited this promotion.”

Pictured from left are OCCJA Executive Director Shannon Clark, Deputy Director Christopher Cook, Director of Operations Leighton McComas, Captain William Russell and Captain Shawnda Pruitt


Lieutenant Governor Pinnell Visits OCCJA Detention Center

On Wednesday January 12, 2022, the Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority Executive Director Shannon T. Clark and staff were honored to host Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, members of the Okmulgee County community, and Okmulgee County Commissioners Ron Ballard and David Walker. During a working lunch the subjects of detention operations, workforce development and retention, as well as reducing recidivism rates were discussed.

Lieutenant Governor Pinnell and guests toured the Okmulgee County Jail and the Moore Detention Center. While visiting, our guests were able to see improvements made to the facilities and speak with staff and detainees regarding the changes that have occurred.

Chaplain Ken Farnham poses for a photo with Lieutenant Governor Pinnell and
Executive Director Clark, as Okmulgee Mayor Richard Larabee observes

Left to Right: Deputy Executive Director Christopher C. Cook, Director of Operations Leighton C. McComas,
Captains Steve Norwood and Erica DeLaCruz, Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, Captain Mary Curtis,
and Executive Director Shannon T. Clark.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, Executive Director Shannon T. Clark and
Deputy Executive Christopher C. Cook (background) discuss food service operations

Lieutenant Governor Pinnell and OCCJA Chaplain Dr. Erik Zoellner
observe detainees during food service preparation