steven harpe

Culture change at Oklahoma corrections department aims to give inmates a voice

BY: - October 30, 2023

LEXINGTON — At the end of a recent inmate council meeting at a state prison, Jacob Watson was eager to talk about how encouraged he felt after seeing the Department of Corrections director on local TV news the night before. Director Steven Harpe was on screen defending his decision to fire some prison leaders and […]

Four people stand in front of security gates above which there is a sign welcoming people to the rodeo

Oklahoma corrections department aims to revive state’s prison rodeo in McAlester

BY: - August 31, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s corrections director is backing a $9.3 million effort to revive the state’s prison rodeo, an event that was once among the largest in the nation, drawing thousands of spectators to McAlester every year. Although rodeo fans have long advocated for the state to re-launch the event that was stopped in 2010 […]

A medical bed with straps is pictured in a Texas execution chamber

Oklahoma to continue lethal injections as Alabama eyes nitrogen gas executions

BY: - August 30, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma prison officials are watching closely as Alabama attempts to become the first state to use  nitrogen hypoxia to carry out an execution. Steven Harpe, Department of Corrections director, said in an interview that he’s open to the alternate method, but he’d like to see nitrogen hypoxia used in a series of […]