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The Howard McLeod Correctional Center has recently gained a new warden.
Deon Clayton was born in Atoka, Oklahoma in 1960. He attended the Atoka School System graduating in 1978. He then attended college at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, graduating in 1983 with a BS Degree in Education.
His career in law enforcement began in 1982 taking a job with the Atoka Police Department. He promoted up the ranks to Captain and after graduating from college he decided to pursue a career with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) as a case manager at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in 1985.
Clayton was promoted through the ranks from Case Manager, Correctional Training Officer, and Unit Manager.
In 1989, he was promoted to Deputy Warden at the Taft Eddie Warrior Correctional Centert.
Clayton decided to join the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the Federal Correctional Institution at El Reno in July 1993.
He completed twenty-three years of federal service with the Federal Prison System serving in the capacities of Correctional Officer, Correctional Treatment Specialist, and Employee Development Manager.
He also assumed duties as Acting Associate Warden, Warden’s Assistant, Unit Manager and a host of collateral duties to include Hostage Negotiation Trainer and Crisis Support Team Member.
After a battle with kidney failure, Clayton was on dialysis for two years before receiving a kidney from fellow Department of Corrections Officer Laurie Beckelheimer. Beckelheimer has since retired from the DOC.
Clayton retired from the Federal Prison System in December 2016. On March 3, 2017, after three months of retirement, Warden Clayton began where he left off with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections landing a job as Deputy Warden at the John Lilley Correctional Center in Boley.
His long tenure and knowledge in the corrections field has allowed him to share his expertise and experience providing the opportunity to teach at the National Institute of Corrections in Aurora, Colorado and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections DOC Training Academy during his first tenure with Oklahoma DOC.
Warden Clayton was appointed as warden of the Howard McLeod Correctional Center on July 15, 2020, by the Oklahoma Board of Corrections after serving as interim warden from January 2, 2020.
“The field of corrections has been an awesome experience for me and my family. It has allowed me the opportunity to give back the time and attention I was given by those who felt I was worthy of their investment in me.” Warden Clayton commented.
“When we invest in the lives of those who need guidance, understanding, mentoring, accountability, support, and a great example to follow. We should be humbled by the overwhelming responsibility and trust placed in us to do the right thing for our fellow man no matter what walks of life they come from.”
Clayton has been married to wife, Elizabeth, for 24 years with four children between them; daughters Michelle Beshears, LaDonna Haerriman; sons Cody Clayton, and Matthew Clayton.