TAFT — Almost 30 years into a Department of Corrections career, Sharon McCoy has seen a lot.
And there is more to come. McCoy, the new warden at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, said she’s excited by the challenges she faces while supervising the women’s facility.
“Certainly, there are differences with an all-female institution,” McCoy, 57, said. “But there are opportunities for us to help the women here, too.”
McCoy, a graduate of Eufaula High School, was previously deputy warden at Eddie Warrior in 2011. She was then named interim warden at the Lexington Correctional Center, an all-male facility.
McCoy’s career began in 1981 — “I’m older than I look,” she said with a laugh — as a correctional officer at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. She was promoted through the ranks of different jails before retiring in 2009 to work as a substance abuse counselor.
Before long, she was back in Department of Corrections custody, so to speak.
“The DOC is my first love,” McCoy said. “I missed it.”
A correctional center is more than a place convicted offenders go to spend their sentences and then just be unceremoniously dumped back into society, she said.
“We want to rehabilitate these women and give them the opportunity to be productive when they leave here,” McCoy said.
To that end, the facility has recently held health fairs, where the women — many of whom have never been to the doctor — get checkups and learn health information they’ll need when their sentences are complete.
McCoy touted other aspects of Eddie Warrior, as well.
“Our education department is excellent,” McCoy said. “We’re in the process of applying for a grant to start our college program up again. We’ll do everything we can to help these women get to who they want to be when they’re released.”
McCoy said she also was impressed with the center’s mental health facility. Though DOC careers typically weave and wind, as hers has during her almost 30-year career, McCoy said she hopes to spend some time in Taft.
“You have to be flexible and mobile to be in this business,” McCoy said. “But I hope to be here for a while. I feel like we can accomplish a lot.”
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Oktaha grad named warden in McLoud
Rickey Moham, an Oktaha High School and Northeastern State University graduate, was named warden of Mabel Bassett Correctional Center Nov. 1.
Moham began his career as a correctional officer cadet at Jess Dunn Correctional Center in Taft in 1987. Moham had been the warden at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center before the promotion.