- About OJA
- Board of Directors
- Residential Treatment Centers
- Community Based Support
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services began operations as the Department of Public Welfare in 1936; it's mission was to provide relief and care of needy aged persons who are unable to provide for themselves.
In 1938, the department served 109,000 people with expenditures topping $15 million.Over the years additional healthcare, social services and youth and rehabilitation programs were added. In 1951, Lloyd Rader was appointed Welfare Director and he served under 8 governors from 1951-1982.
In January, 1978, the Terry D. v. Lloyd Rader lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in Oklahoma City. The suit alleged abusive practices, unconstitutional use of isolation and restraints, the absence of adequately trained staff, and the mixing of offenders with non-offenders. As a result, a number of public institutions were closed, and the Department of Human Services implemented a variety of community-based programs for children and youth, including both residential and non-residential services.
Creation of Office of Juvenile Affairs
In 1994, the Oklahoma Legislature passed the Juvenile Reform Act (H.B. 2640) creating the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) as the state juvenile justice agency, effective July 1, 1995. This legislation also created the Youthful Offender Act to provide swift justice for serious and habitual juvenile offenders 15 through 17 years of age.
OJA was given the responsibility and authority to manage the state's juvenile affairs, a seven member board was created with appointments by Governor Frank Keating based off the advice and consent of the Senate.
On April 5, 1996, OJA was able to meet the Federal Court requirements for dismissal of the Terry D. lawsuit. A new era of innovative programs, increased community involvement, and an enhanced, open relationship with the judiciary had begun.
OJA District Maps of Programs & Services
OJA Annual Reports