McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 30, 2013

OSP, now hiring

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Oklahoma State Penitentiary has job openings is now hiring.

That’s the word from Oklahoma State Penitentiary Warden’s Assistant Terry Crenshaw.

In addition to security correctional officers, the maximum security prison in McAlester is also looking for additional medical staff, food service personnel and maintenance technicians.

Twenty-two correctional officer positions are currently open at OSP and “I need more,” said Linda Jefferson, a Human Resources Management Specialist IV at the prison.

Some minimum qualifications are in place for correctional officer applicants.

“They must be at least 20-years-old and must be able to pass a background check,” Jefferson said. Applicants who pass the background check must then pass a drug test and physical examination.

“The applicant doesn’t have to pay anything out-of-pocket,” said Jefferson.

OSP normally operates three shifts for correctional officers: from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m., from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., and from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Those interested in correctional officer positions can start the application process by one of two ways, either in-person or on-line.

“They can come to OSP and complete a background check,” Jefferson said. The background check can be implemented when the applicant is at the site, according to Jefferson.

“They can do it while they’re here,” she said.

Those who apply in person may want to empty their pockets of metallic items, such as change, before entering the OSP administration building, because they will have to pass through a security point with a metal detector and “shakedown” before entering the building. Don’t bring cell phones and certainly no pocket knives or anything that could be used as a weapon, either.

Those who apply on line can go to Click on Current Jobs in the upper left-hand corner, then scroll down to Correctional Security Officer 1 Pittsburg to start the process. The Pittsburg designation is for Pittsburg County, to differentiate the site from Oklahoma Department of Corrections facilities in other counties.

To become a permanent employee, an applicant must be listed on the state’s “E list,” Jefferson said. Those who take the test to be included on the “E list” must make a minimum score of at least 50 to be considered, she said.

“That means we can call them to be interviewed,” said Jefferson.

It’s possible for a correctional officer to be initially hired as a temporary employee before getting on the “E list,” Jefferson said.

Starting pay for a correctional officer 1 is $2,050.40 per month, she said. Benefits normally kick in after a month, according to Jefferson. However, benefits do not begin until an officer is hired on a permanent status and so would not apply to temporary employees.

Benefits include medical, dental and life insurance, as well as a 20-year retirement plan. The 20-year retirement plan is for the correctional security officers only, according to information from OSP.

Those working at the Correctional Officer 1 level are eligible to rise to the rank of a Correctional Officer II, or corporal, within six months to a year, according to Jefferson.

Other hiring procedures are utilized for the medical staff positions, with registered nurses and licensed practical nurses among the positions to be filled.

Medical staff members are considered “direct hires,” and so can be directly hired at the prison without having to first get on the “E list,” Jefferson said.

Food service personnel are also considered “direct hires” and so can he hired directly at the facility, according to Jefferson.

Those wanting to apply for the maintenance technician positions must apply on-line, she said.

Anyone needing more information about any of the job openings can phone OSP at 918-423-4700 and ask for “personnel.”

Contact James Beaty at