Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) is located in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, on 30 acres of a 147.7-acre plat. It has been operational since 1917. It has gone through many transformations over the years and was formerly known as the Russell Industrial School, Oklahoma State Industrial School for Incorrigible Girls, the State Industrial School for White Girls, Girls Town and Central Oklahoma Juvenile Treatment Center. It has been known as COJC [koh-jak] since August of 1992. Through the transitions it has served as a facility for orphans, children in need of mental health treatment, delinquents and youthful offenders. It was previously operated by the Department of Human Services but has been under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs since 1995.
Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center provides care, guidance, discipline, education, rehabilitation and reintegration services for male and female youth between the ages of 12-19. Residents of COJC have been adjudicated by the court as a Delinquent or Youthful Offender, are in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs and meet the requirements for placement in a medium-secure facility.
The purpose of Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center is to provide temporary residential care, offer effective intervention into the resident’s delinquent behaviors, provide for the safety of the public and hold residents accountable for their behaviors.
COJC is accredited by the American Correctional Association.
Jerry Fry, Superintendent
Jerry Fry has worked with children and their families for more than 24 years. He worked for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, holding key administrative positions at both agencies. Jerry went on to become the Director of White Field’s, a state-of-the-art residential facility for Deprived children in Piedmont, Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Tecumseh High School. He earned both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from East Central University. Jerry has been awarded two Governor’s Commendations for his work with children and was named a Distinguished Oklahoma Citizen by the Oklahoma House of Representatives for his involvement with children’s issues. Jerry presently serves on a number of boards and commissions including the Pottawatomie County Post Adjudication Review Board, the OKCARE Board of Directors, Mission Tecumseh Board of Directors, and Crossroads Youth and Family Services Board of Directors. He previously served as a commissioner for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth and sat on the State Post Adjudication Review Advisory Board and the State Child Abuse Training and Coordination Council. He is also a graduate of the inaugural Leadership Tecumseh class.
Mark James, Deputy Superintendent
Mark James first started working at COJC in 1996. He went on to serve various roles within the Office Of Juvenile Affairs, including positions at Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center; Pottawatomie County Juvenile Services Unit, and the State Office Placement Unit. Just prior to becoming the Deputy Superintendent Mark worked at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth as the state coordinator for the Post Adjudication Review Board, the state’s citizen-led Foster Care Review Program. Mark attended Oklahoma Baptist University and earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Mark serves on the Board of Directors for the Foster Care and Adoptive Association of Oklahoma, is chairman of the Pottawatomie County Post Adjudication Review Board, has been a member of the Oklahoma Children’s Court Improvement Task Force and is certified mediator with the Oklahoma Alternative Dispute Resolution System.
Mark has lived in the Shawnee area for over 20 years. He and his wife met while attending Oklahoma Baptist University. They have five children. Mark and his wife have been foster parents since 2008.
Eduardo J. Valenzuela, Deputy Superintendent
Eduardo J. Valenzuela is from Norco, California where he graduated high school. In 1982 he joined the United States Navy in which he served until 1991. He is an Operation Desert Storm (Disabled) Veteran with numerous awards and accolades from his military career. In 1996 he moved to Pryor, Oklahoma. Mr. Valenzuela went to work at Thunderbird Regimented Training Program in 1998 and held various positions within the organization. In 2009 he graduated Cum Laude from American Intercontinental University in Chicago with a Bachelors Degree. Mr. Valenzuela came to work for the Office of Juvenile Affairs in 2010 as a Juvenile Justice Specialist in Delaware County. He joined the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center as the Institutional Program Coordinator in December of 2011. Mr. Valenzuela became the Deputy Superintendent of the facility on July 1, 2012.
Steve Moore, Administrator of Programs
Steve Moore received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from the University of New Mexico. With a collective of over twenty years in mental health, Steve has served as a direct care specialist, therapist, program director and clinical director. Originally from New Mexico, Steve has worked exclusively with adolescent sex offenders, and severe mental illnesses on an in-patient as well as outpatient and community based programs basis. Mr. Moore is a member of A.T.S.A. (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers) and N.A.P.N. (National Adolescent Perpetration Network) and has presented at both of those national conventions. He has been a member of the Governor’s Counsel on the Treatment of Sexual Offenders in New Mexico as well as consultant to many residential and community based sex offender programs in New Mexico. He currently resides in Norman, with his wife and daughter.