FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TECUMSEH (July 5, 2022) – Darryl K. Fields, who has more than 30 years of experience working with juveniles, has been appointed superintendent of the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) of the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA).
Fields, who has served as COJC’s acting superintendent for the past year, has worked with juveniles on trial in E-level group homes and within the juvenile justice system. He also has experience in licensing juvenile facilities and administering secure facilities.
“A year ago, we asked Darryl Fields to take on the role of Acting Superintendent on our COJC campus,” said Rachel Holt, CEO of OJA. “At the time, the facility was operating during a major construction project, we were still recovering from a pandemic, and staff and resident morale was low. It was a huge task and Darryl met this moment. He has developed a leadership academy for our staff and his strong relationships with our children have led to cultural change at COJC. Our residents and staff know that the state has invested in the physical COJC plant and, under the leadership of Superintendent Fields, OJA is also investing in the COJC culture. His work over the past year has been outstanding and I am honored to make his position permanent.
Fields, of Shawnee, began his career as a direct care staff member at an E-level facility. He also served five years as the administrator of a group home that served delinquent boys. He served four years as a juvenile justice specialist with the OJA Youth Department at Oklahoma County Court and briefly worked as the OJA Administrative Programs Officer in charge of the parole process for the OJA.
He was also employed by the OJA and the Office of Public Integrity as a field program representative for 14 years. In this capacity, he gained in-depth knowledge of OJA divisions while developing valuable relationships/friendships in the 77 counties served by the agency.
A $45 million construction program called Next Generational Campus was recently completed at COJC. The updated campus, designed to accommodate up to 144 youth, includes a new health clinic/welcome center and new residential chalets with abundant natural light. All seven chalets have high-ceilinged living rooms and each resident has a bedroom with a window; COJC units were previously open dormitory style with very little natural light. The new campus also offers space and landscaping designed for walking and talking. Improvements have been made to the education/gym building and the administration building. Several obsolete buildings, some centuries old, have been demolished.
As Acting Superintendent, Fields worked with staff to come to terms with their core values of relationship, role model, respect and rewards.
“I believe a safe treatment environment is essential for positive outcomes in young people,” Fields said. “I bring to the table a wealth of experience in which our secure juveniles and their families will be uplifted. I will continue to guide our staff on the effective treatment of our residents and provide safe juvenile justice services in a specially designed to provide rehabilitation for young people in need of this level of care.
Fields is a board member of the Shawnee Community Renewal Program and the Shawnee Police Department Cops-N-Kids. Additionally, he serves on the Pottawatomie County Blue Zones Steering Committee.
He is a father and married to his wife for 30 years. He is also pastor of Union Missionary Baptist Church in Shawnee. Fields graduated from Luther High School and did undergraduate work at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Darryl K. Champs
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