News Release

To obtain information, press releases or comments regarding the Office of Juvenile Affairs, contact Dawn Byram, Director of Media Relations at (405) 530-2824 or email dawbyr@oja.state.ok.usblack divider line



Manitou--A unique new program at the Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center (SWOJC) called The ROC will be officially dedicated during a ribbon cutting ceremony, Friday, May 21, announced Marvin Weibener, SWOJC Superintendent.

The Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center is a 70 bed, medium secure juvenile institution located in Manitou. It is one of three institutions in the state that are run by the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA). OJA also contracts with a private juvenile institution located in Union City.

"The Reception Orientation Center (ROC) is the first program of its kind in an Oklahoma juvenile institution. It is designed to gain control of residents' behavior when they first arrive at the institution," explained Dr. Reuben Perechi, SWOJC Administrator of Programs.

"Since the implementation of The ROC in May 1998 assaults on staff have dramatically decreased, along with assaults on other juveniles, restraints by staff and other crisis management episodes at the institution. We are very excited about the success of the program and this chance to highlight it with the public," added Perechi.

All institution residents begin their stay at The ROC and must learn compliance by meeting a specific set of requirements before being moved into another unit where more privileges are granted.

Residents on The ROC are not allowed to watch TV or listen to the radio. They eat on the unit, go to school on the unit and are only allowed off the unit one hour per day for outdoor recreation.

One of the requirements residents must comply with to get off The ROC is to learn 18 rules of appropriate behavior and how they apply to the crimes they committed.

Every minute of the residents' day is tightly scheduled. The juveniles continually work to improve their lives through individual, group and family counseling. They also participate in community service projects.

The ribbon cutting will be attended by OJA Executive Director Jerry Regier, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff David Dennis and other members of the OJA Executive Team.

Invitee include Speaker of the House Loyd Benson, Senator Gilmer Capps, area Judges, community leaders, District Attorneys and other dignitaries.

The ceremony will begin at 11:00 A.M. at the Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Manitou. Following the ceremony, hamburgers, hotdogs and all the trimmings will be available at a cost of two dollars.

To RSVP please contact Lisa Fields at (580) 397-3511.