Oklahoma City, Okla. (April 30, 2019)— Governor Kevin Stitt announced today five appointments to the State Board of Corrections.
“I am pleased to welcome five new members to the State Board of Corrections,” said Stitt. “They will each bring a diverse perspective to the Department of Corrections in order to implement needed change and innovative ideas. I look forward to working with the board to move our criminal justice and correction system forward.”
The appointments are as follows:
Reginald Hines retired from the Department of Corrections after 37 years of service. During his career with the Department of Corrections, he held various positions from Correctional Officer to Deputy Director. Hines served on the Justice Roundtable Committee in Washington D.C. for the powder versus crack cocaine disparity and sentencing. He was elected to the American Correctional Association’s Board of Governors and was also presented the Oklahoma Correctional Association Achievement Award for his work in criminal justice. Hines is also a graduate of the Leadership Oklahoma, class of XXVIII. Hines is the current President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and the Working Together Prison Ministry. He is also the ambassador for the Making of Men youth organization. Along with his many other accomplishments, Hines is always seeking solutions that impacts our youth of today through gang violence, teen pregnancy, drugs, and drinking and driving among other items that has infected the youth population. Hines resides in Oklahoma City.
Dr. Kathryn LaFortune is a licensed Oklahoma health service psychologist and attorney who currently works at the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau to provide forensic psychological services in delinquency, deprived cases and juvenile competency. Prior to working at the Juvenile Bureau, she worked for Congressman Jim Bridenstine and the Mental Health and Veterans Courts after leaving a 13 year career as Chief of Forensic Services for the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. She also worked at the Oklahoma Forensic Center as a staff forensic psychologist for her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral experience for three years before working as the mental health director of the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center in 1999. LaFortune attended Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and then worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill as a research associate. She then returned to Oklahoma to attend The University of Tulsa College of Law and worked as a Tulsa Municipal Public Defender before returning to The University of Tulsa to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with the goal of understanding the interface of the legal system and mental health. She has published and co-authored research articles in a variety of peer reviewed journals and currently sits on the American Psychological Association Committee on Legal Issues. LaFortune has received many awards including, the Oklahoma Psychological Association Distinguished Service Citation, the New York Law School Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award, and The University of Tulsa College of Law Distinguished Alumni. She has served as Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association and served as a board member of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, the Tulsa Regional Child Death Review Board, and the Quality Assurance Panel for Juvenile Competency at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. LaFortune has also taught classes at a number of colleges, including the New York Law School, the University of Tulsa, TCC, OSU, Rogers State University and Langston University.
Steven Harpe is the Chief Information Officer of Gateway Mortgage Group, one of the nation’s largest, independent mortgage companies. Harpe is a Georgia native who made Broken Arrow his home in 1979, after his father’s service in the United States Air Force. He has more than 30 years of experience managing technology solutions globally for companies such as American Airlines, Sabre, HireRight, Capital One, and CGI. He has also worked on initiatives for the United States Navy and Marines requiring high level security clearances by the United States Federal Government. He serves on the 501 Technet Advisory Board, an organization that provides eligible nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma with high quality, donor subsidized or partner discounted technology expertise, products and services. Additionally, he serves in several technology leadership groups, such as the Oklahoma CIO's and the Tulsa CIO Forum organizations. These groups bring senior level technologists in Oklahoma together to collaborate on technology transformation and cyber security initiatives. Steve has been married for 24 years to his wife Jody, and has three children Jillian, Ethan and Jenna. They have lived in the Broken Arrow area for 40 years, and are passionate about serving their local community.
Rodney Thornton currently serves as the Owner and President of Thornton Construction Company, Inc. He also owns and operates Eagle drilling, which specializes in oil and gas drilling rigs and equipment, and RT Properties, which is a real estate management company. He holds an MBA from Oklahoma City University and a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. He resides in Norman and is a member of the University of Oklahoma Seed Sower Society.
Betty Gesell lives in Bixby, Oklahoma and is a former small business owner (1998-2012) and Senior Account Representative at Mead Data Central/Lexis Nexis (1995-2000). Gesell holds both a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Nebraska.
The Board of Corrections is a nine person board with five members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The board is the governing body for the department. Members are responsible for establishing and reviewing policies and confirming the appointment of wardens or unit heads.