|First appearance||"The Truth and Nothing But..." (episode 3.01)|
|Last appearance||"Exeunt Omnes" (episode 6.08)|
|Reason/Cause||End of series|
|Children||1 unborn child|
|Relatives||1 unnamed brother|
|Episode Count||35 episodes|
|Portrayed by||Kristin Rohde|
Claire Howell is a C.O played by Kristin Rohde.
Howell is a sexual predator serving as a corrections guard in the eponymous prison Oz. She preys on all the men in her orbit, prisoners and guards alike, looking at them as mere human sex toys who exist solely for her to dominate. She first has a relationship with Tim McManus, the Emerald City unit manager, that ends with her filing a sexual harassment charge against him after he breaks off the affair. With the inmates, she is extremely aggressive and has sex with many of them throughout her tenure as a guard. Some of these inmates include Ryan O'Reily, Chris Keller, Carlos Martinez and in deleted scenes Carmen Guerra. She also tries unsuccessfully to have sex with inmates Cyril O'Reily and Omar White.
In the series final episode, she reveals the fact that an inmate, either Martinez or Guerra, has impregnated her. Because her religious beliefs preclude abortion, she is forced to learn to control her violent impulses, as she will be raising the baby alone.
Officer Howell reports for duty and immediately makes her dubious mark on everyone. She first dismisses Diane Wittlesey's offer to show her the ropes by making it clear she needs no help from anyone. Howell continues by making a move on Tim McManus, resulting in them sleeping together. In a brief conversation, Howell confirms her suspicions about Diane and Tim, when Diane gives Howell the rundown on Tim's dating system. Howell, in an attempt to one-up Wittlesey, reveals how it only took her one date to get Tim in bed. Howell's deeply vicious jealous streak comes out when she sees Tim comforting Wittlesey in the staff lounge after he tells Wittlesey that her mother died. She quickly confronts Tim in his office and the conversation escalates to a shouting match and then to a tussle with Tim having to physically subdue Howell. What's worse, the entire incident is witnessed by some of the inmates. An angry Tim demands that Leo Glynn fire her after she beats Latino inmate Louis Bevilaqua in solitary badly. She then files a sexual harassment suit against Tim, which results in her reinstatement. While in the staff lounge, Wittlesey punches Howell in the jaw and a fight ensues. She also, with Len Lopresti, takes pleasure in hearing how Hamid Khan was put into a coma by Cyril O'Reily, saying "maybe Allah was out of town." As she was saying that, Officer Clayton Hughes hears them in the locker room and curses them both.
Howell begins season 4 working as the main officer in solitary where she witnesses one inmate commit suicide (by eating himself up) and one getting killed during recreational time. At a black guard's funeral, she is seen giggling when McManus is singing "Camptown Races". She is then transferred to Em City by Leo Glynn who notices that no white C.O.'s are left in the unit under Martin Querns command. While on duty in the cafeteria, Howell steps in to break up a fight involving Ryan O'Reily. She tells the other officer that she'll take him in herself. Howell actually has other plans for Ryan as she leads him into the bathroom where she proceeds to perform oral sex on Ryan. This leads to Howell and Ryan's frequent and well-hidden sexual relationship - thanks to Howell's position as a guard, she can often force Ryan away from the public areas of the prison and into hidden rooms for sex. After a while, Ryan's mentally handicapped brother Cyril and then-roommate is able to deduce what is happening between Ryan and Howell, and guilts him into breaking the relationship later in the season. During the height of their sexual relationship, Ryan requests that she kill Nikolai Stanislofsky, who had become a problem for Ryan. Howell offers a bathing Stanislofsky (a bath had been the condemned Stanislofsky's last wish) some sexual comfort and, during the distraction, she throws a hair dryer into the tub, killing him.
After Cyril tells Ryan he knows about Howell and his relationship, Ryan decides to call it quits with her to protect his brother. She threatens him by claiming she'll decide when it's over and later tells Ryan that she's been considering Cyril for her next conquest. She approaches Ryan with a deal that she'll stop forcing sex onto him in exchange for the rights to molest Cyril. Ryan becomes enraged, deciding to plan another way of getting Howell off his back. After Querns is fired, Howell is transferred to Unit J (the unit for incarcerated law enforcement officers). Ryan convinces inmate Alvin Yood to let Howell have an "accident" in exchange for extra food. While Howell and Yood are walking down some stairs, he trips her up, she falls and breaks her pelvis, which puts her out of commission for a while.
Howell returns to Oz after taking the fall down the stairs. Following this, Howell goes back on duty to solitary confinement.
Howell's duties this season are relegated to keeping inmates in protective custody safe. When Chris Keller returns to Oz to await a murder trial, he is placed in protective custody. Howell decides since he's the only one in that unit that she can have some sexual escapades with him. Keller at first is willing but after a while, Keller tires of her and tells her he's no longer interested. This angers Howell, who beats him badly and covers it up as though he had provoked and attacked her.
Howell assisted officer Dave Brass in cutting inmate Enrique Morales' tendons for revenge. Howell continued her detail in solitary and still found other inmates willing to have sex with her just to keep her from harassing them. Of course, one tryst is too much, as Howell confides to Father Ray Mukada that she is pregnant and unsure of who the father is (possibly Carlos Martinez). Although she decides to keep the baby, she has to decide if she should continue working at Oz or move away. After she tells Mukada about her pregnancy, she goes back to solitary to check on the inmates. When she opens one door she sees a saddened Agamemnon Busmalis, who tells her that he will never be a father. Howell, sympathetically, tells him that everyone has problems and then shuts the door, sadly realizing that Busmalis is not allowed to have a child and she is having a child that she doesn't want.
- Nikolai Stanislofsky: Electrocuted with a hair dryer plugged in during a bath (2000)
|The Correctional Officers|
Diane Wittlesey - Lenny Burrano - Sean Murphy - Claire Howell - Clayton Hughes - Rick Heim - Gordon Wood - Karl Metzger - Eugene Rivera - Dave Brass - Len Lopresti - Jason Armstrong - Travis Smith - Joseph Howard - Adrian Johnson - Eddie Hunt - Vic D'Agnasti - Joseph Mineo - Lawrence Smith - Tom Robinson