Father Ray Mukada
The chaplain of Oswald State Penitentiary. He is a Catholic priest who graduated at the top of his class at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was initially serving under Cardinal Francis Abgott who called him his "Great Yellow Hope". Abgott's extremely conservative views clashed with Mukada's more idealistic ones. After disagreeing with the Cardinal a few times too often, he was transferred to Oz, which "extinguished" his career as a priest. He works alongside Sister Pete, trying to help the prisoners in Oz. Although Father Ray Mukada and the Christian group have some issues about religion, Father Ray still tries his hardest to make life in Oz a little easier for the inmates. He has been noted for several attempts to straighten up the inmates from drug addictions, murders, etc. He is still the main religious authority in Oz. Although it was forced upon him, he appears to grow into the role of a spiritual guide over time and firmly believes that his work is important.
- Arch-Enemy: While he is an All-Loving Hero who believes that anyone can be saved, Timmy Kirk is the only one he truly despises and views as irredeemable. His encounters with Kirk are always antagonistic in that he's the only one who really makes Ray break his priestly visage, devolving into screaming and insults. It doesn't help that Kirk is responsible for most of his sufferings in Oz.
- Badass Pacifist: He survives a prison riot and attempted murder by arson and keeps coming back to do his job.
- Beware the Nice Ones: After Timmy Kirk commits one too many atrocities and lies against Mukada, Ray prays to God for Kirk to die; his wish is soon granted by Jaz Hoyt getting rid of him once and for all.
- Berserk Button: Anything involving Timmy Kirk. He even picked up smoking, a habit he previously discouraged, because of him.
- Celibate Hero: He is a priest who took a Vow Of Chastity so it's kind of a given.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Deconstructed. Part of the reason Reverend Cloutier is successful at converting inmates is because Father Mukada is the only chaplain and legitimate Christian leader figure in Oz, meaning that Protestant inmates have been getting the short-shrift. A rivalry of sorts emerges as each tries to one-up the other, until both realize that they can help more inmates by working together.
- Commonality Connection: He and Cloutier eventually become friends after realizing they both have the same goal of saving souls. And Ray is the first staff member that Said warms up to, owing to their mutual respect as religious leaders.
- Defeat Means Friendship: With Cloutier, eventually, having been "defeated" when Timmy Kirk switches from Catholicism to Protestantism. In the end, Mukada is one of the characters who takes Cloutier's fate most personally.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Mukada does his damnedest to help the inmates and even risks his life to do so at one point, but unlike Sister Pete, he is viewed as a "hack in black" and a shill for the guards.
- The Good Shepherd: Mukada is a good-natured man always trying to help inmates find redemption or at least peace.
- Hot for Preacher: It's implied Timmy Kirk's mother, of all people, is attracted to him. Mukada's "politely horrified" face gets quite a workout. And rightly so, considering things go about as well as they did with her son.
- Knight in Sour Armor: In Season 1. He hates his job in Oz and makes no secret about it to the administration, but he never once lets this show to any of the prisoners he works with and does his duties as a priest to the best of his ability. From Season 2 onward, this has completely vanished, with the exception of certain prisoners he has a special contempt for, such as Timmy Kirk.
- Meaningful Name: Ray sounds like the Japanese words for both spirit and zero.
- Nice Guy: The times he so much as raises his voice are few and far between, and normally require substantial provocation or direct insult towards his position as a priest.
- Odd Friendship: He eventually starts to form one with Cloutier, and to a lesser extent with Kareem Said.
- Only Friend: He's one of the only people in the world who care about Alvarez.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Mukada pissed off a certain fire-and-brimstone Cardinal, who sent him to Oz in an attempt to silence a dissenting voice."Why do you think that I work here, huh, Tim? I went to the Pontifical Gregorian University in the Vatican. I was in the top of my class. I was the Cardinal's great yellow hope, until I started working in his office and I asked a few too many questions. I had a few too many opinions. I defied him, instead of deifying him. So his Excellency decided to punish me by sending me to Oz, to extinguish my career."
- Small Name, Big Ego: According to the Cardinal, this is the real reason Father Mukada was sent to Oz. He doesn't elaborate, leaving the accuracy of the statement somewhat ambiguous. Mukada, however, seems to agree, noting that his time in Oz has humbled him significantly.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Mukada is one of the few people to get Schillinger to genuinely relent in his vengeance against Beecher and appeal to whatever shred of compassion and humanity he had left, albeit briefly, by talking Schillinger into releasing Beecher's kidnapped daughter.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even more so than McManus. He's a strong believer in rehabilitation as opposed to punishment, but he's often road-blocked by the realities of the prison. He gradually becomes disillusioned with his job, but especially when it comes to Timmy Kirk, who tries to murder Reverend Cloutier and Father Mukada, and in the process he gets two of Mukada's friends killed. Mukada deems Kirk to be pure evil and completely deserving of an eternity in Hell.
Dr Gloria Nathan
A prison doctor who leads the prison hospital in providing care for several of the inmates within Oz. A good person, she deals with conflict all the time, whether it is from the inmates such as Ryan O'Reily, or state medical boards.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her bedside manner, she's no pushover. She will hurt you if given the impetus.
- Break the Cutie: She gets constantly accosted by an Abhorrent Admirer and murderous criminal in the prison she works in, her husband gets killed, and she gets raped before eventually returning the affections of said criminal out of sheer desperation for comfort. Life was not kind to her.
- Butt-Monkey: Much like the rest of the staff. She gets it particularly hard, as her life outside of Oz gets affected as well.
- Characterization Marches On: In Season 1, while she does care about her patients, she generally assumes the worst of the inmates and doesn't really seem to give that much of a damn about them, which doesn't gel with her later portrayal as being one of the few to care about their well-being.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: A profoundly dark example. Has this on Ryan, unfortunately for her. She eventually reciprocates but only very, very reluctantly.
- The Heart: She's so forbearing that she even outshines Father Mukada.
- Hospital Hottie: She has tons of admirers on the staff and in the prison.
- Masochism Tango: With Ryan O'Reily. No matter how much she views his sociopathic version of love for her as twisted and hates him and his criminal actions involving her life, she cannot seem to stay away from him and sadly admits she returns his feelings despite knowing how wrong it is.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: On a touchy inmate who causes flashbacks to her rape.
- No Sympathy: To the inmates at times, though she does care about them. McManus leaves her because of her flippancy about participating in Keane's execution.
- Precision F-Strike: Unleashed one on Dr. Frederick Garvey.
- The Scapegoat: She's blamed for the failure of the aging drugs in spite of having been ordered to test them on the prisoners.
- Took a Level in Badass: After recovering from her rape, she's definitely got a tougher, take-no-shit attitude.
- Trauma Conga Line: The death of her husband and her subsequent rape put her out of commission for a while. She comes back tougher than ever.
Governor James Devlin
The governor of an unspecified U.S. state. After campaigning on a law and order platform that includes "no perks for prisoners", Devlin enacts legislation designed to emphasize punishment in the state's correctional system. Devlin's draconian measures make him a figure hated by Oz's inmate population, and by several staff members.
Devlin is frequently shown as opportunistic and morally dubious, using strict legislation to deflect attention from his illicit activities. Despite his political image, Devlin is shown as a sadistic elitist only out for himself, an image he doesn't bother to hide in private. He knows that the public views him as such but will vote for him because he gets the results they want.
- Antagonistic Governor: On a show wall-to-wall with scumbags (it's set in a prison, after all), one of the worst is the guy on the outside campaigning on a "law and order" platform.
- Bald of Evil: Not bald but definitely has a receding hairline.
- Big Bad: Devlin could easily be considered the true villain of the show, as he's responsible for many of the horrible conditions in Oz.
- Character Tics: He's prone to playing with his hands and smoking.
- Corrupt Politician: He's flagrantly corrupt, but is good enough at gaming the system to stay in office.
- Deadpan Snarker: In a World of Ham, Devlin stands out as being relatively low-key.
- Demoted to Extra: He's a minor character in Season 3 and Season 5, serving mostly as an offscreen presence and only showing up twice.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Dismisses McManus's brave decision to make himself a hostage as stupidity.
- Establishing Character Moment: His comes when he makes his way past the press with polite platitudes, then berating Glynn and McManus, comparing himself to Zeus while threatening them and casually admitting he thinks prisoners should be deprived of their basic rights, ordering Keane's execution, and demanding the prison be taken off lockdown for his PR while callously noting that he doesn't care if it results in a riot since Glynn will take the blame.
- Evil Is Petty: It's implied he cut the high school education program simply to spite McManus.
- A God Am I: Or so he believes.Devlin: You've heard of Olympus, right? Mount Olympus, Ancient Greece, where the Gods lived?
Devlin: There was a hierarchy even among the Gods. Mercury was lesser than Apollo, Apollo lesser than Zeus. Now you run your cell block and you think you're a God. Glynn runs a whole prison, he thinks he's a greater God. Well, guys...I am Zeus. I am omnipotent. I must be obeyed...or my thunderbolts will strike.
- Hate Sink: Devlin is tailor made for the audience to hate. He constantly causes problems for literally everyone, he's an unpleasant asshole on a personal level, hypocritical, corrupt, monstrously selfish, and perpetually allergic to taking responsibility for his actions or their consequences.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the final episode he is caught having arranged the deaths of Warden Glynn and two inmates. If convicted, he would be subject to all the horrible conditions he put the other prisoners under.
- It's All About Me: He will do anything to further his own ambitions. Everyone else is expendable, even allies.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His blackmail of Garvey and murder of Lowen.
- Jerkass: Even before his criminal activities were revealed, he was still a very unpleasant man.
- Jerkass Has a Point: For all the shit McManus likes to give him for what he views as malicious and draconian policy, those same policies still ultimately result in lower crime rates, higher income and employment figures, and the second highest literacy rate in the country. And these are all facts that Devlin delights in throwing back in McManus' face when he's feeling under attack.
- Karma Houdini: Despite everything he's done, Devlin not only beats his corruption charges, but he also wins a second term in office. As of the finale, this may finally be averted.
- Lack of Empathy: He has no real empathy of care for his fellow human being. One of the first things he does is to order Keane's execution as casually as one would order a pizza.
- Laser-Guided Karma: It's implied at the end that his corruption has finally tanked his political career, and he may or may not have been prosecuted for his crimes.
- Laughably Evil: Despite being an enormous douchebag, some of his lines can actually be funny.
- Never My Fault: Much of the conflict comes from Devlin's attempts to appear "tough on crime". He will, of course, never acknowledge that fact.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: McManus' attempts to improve the lives of his prisoners are doomed to failure as long as this man's in office.
- Oh, Crap!: The look on his face when confronted with having arranged the murder of Leo and two inmates.
- Sleazy Politician: In addition to what we see on screen, he's being investigated for corruption all throughout his first term. The series ends with the possibility of him being charged with Glynn's murder.
- Smug Snake: At the end of the day, Devlin's not much more than an impossibly arrogant man hiding behind his title.
- Straw Hypocrite: He very explicitly doesn't give a damn about the crime rate, the economy, or any thing else on his platform. But he knows the voters do, and that's what matters.
- Strawman Political: He's identified as conservative (though his party is never identified) and has some of the more unpleasant right-wing tendencies. To be fair, its clear that he doesn't really care about it and its just a façade.
- The Napoleon: Called as such by McManus.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He seems to take personal pleasure in stepping in the prison administration's toes, and he's prone to making it even harder to run Oz with his attempts to seek tough on crime.
- Slimeball: He's perpetually weaselly, and is always trying to do exploit the situation to cover up something sleazy he did.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Played with; it's clear that the voters don't like him personally, but he wins a second term in office because he's considered very good at what he does.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Subverted. All of Devlin's law-and-order rhetoric is just a way to win votes. His hatred of the prisoners also seems to stem more from a personal dislike than contempt for their actions.
A jaded and results-oriented black man, Querns is hired by Glynn after pressure by community leaders to hire an African American Unit Manager in Oz. Querns, as told through a conversation to Adebisi, is only different from the black inmates in that he has been smart enough to have never been arrested for dealing drugs. The complete opposite of McManus, he believes that drugs are good for the prisoners because they subdue them until they are incapable of any discipline problems.
- Anti-Villain: He's not a bad guy all things considered, and his methods are very effective at maintaining prison discipline. However, the cost of his administration is the decline of prisoner welfare, killing any chance that any of them have for reformation, and effectively giving Adebisi control of Em City.
- Back for the Finale: Querns returns in the final season to take over the position of Warden following Glynn's death.
- Bad Boss: He doesn't show much concern for the opinion of Officer Murphy, the chief CO of Em city at the time. Subverted in the Series Finale when he becomes the new warden of Oz. He gives McManus 30 days notice under orders from Devlin, but tells him he will still have a place at Oz if Devlin is impeached, rather than just fire him immediately out of spite.
- Badass Baritone: Has an impressively deep voice.
- Badass Boast:Querns: Like most of you, I come from the streets. I'm not some candy-ass white liberal looking to turn you into better citizens. I intend to meet with each of you individually, but until then, keep this principle in mind: Don't fuck with Querns.
- Establishing Character Moment: The above-mentioned Badass Boast is his very first line of dialogue. It is met with stunned silence by the inmates, driving the point home that this is not a man to be fucked with.
- Everyone Has Standards: He vomits when Cyril OReilly is executed.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Not evil but certainly not good.
- Friendly Enemy: Of a sort with McManus. The two do not get along at all, but Querns admits that he admires Tim, and thinks Emerald City is a great idea.
- Nerves of Steel: Knocks Adebisi's famous hat off his head, then coldly stares him down when the latter leaps to his feet.
- Pet the Dog: He takes a liking to Stanislofsky and allows him a bath.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Most of his initial "get to know you" meetings with the prisoners of Em City involve this.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Even by the general standards of the show, or at least, the general standards of the administrative staff."Destroy the God damned motherfucking tapes NOW."
- Took a Level in Kindness: When he returns to replace Glynn, he's much more reasonable and understands that Devlin is a jackass.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Played with. With the prisoners, he is actually far more lenient than McManus, turning a blind eye to anything that isn't outright violence. However, he runs the administration of Emerald City with an iron fist, replacing all of the CO's with ones of his choice and brooking no disagreement with his policies.
Dr. Frederick Garvey
A doctor put in charge of the medical ward after Devlin made a deal for a private contractor to take over the medical care of prisoners.
- Back-Alley Doctor: He used to run a back-alley abortion clinic which was shut down after he accidentally killed one of his patients. He somehow managed to get a medical license after this.
- Canon Welding: Weigert, the private contractor he works for, was previously featured on St. Elsewhere.
- Can't Take Criticism: His reaction to being called out for his mistakes is to basically throw a hissy fit.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's more of a corporate figurehead than a doctor, and cares more about profit than people's lives.
- Dr. Jerk: Garvey is an incompetent quack who doesn't give a damn about his patients, caring more about being cost effective. It's eventually revealed he was a back-alley surgeon who killed a patient on the table who somehow managed to get a license.
- Evil Old Folks: He's elderly and a sociopathic dickhead.
- Hate Sink: He's a corporate figurehead obsessed with profit, which he values over his patients' lives.
- Jerkass: An incompetent, greedy, callous man who hates being challenged.
- Lack of Empathy: He doesn't care about his patients, and casually admits he thinks Alvarez should kill himself because his prescribed antidepressants are too expensive.
- Never My Fault: He refuses to admit fault for Alvarez's suicide attempt in spite of it being caused by Garvey refusing to give him anymore antidepressants because of how expensive the medication was.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: He's an incompetent figurehead who knows nothing about medicine and only cares about cutting costs. Unfortunately, Devlin's deal means that he has complete autonomy, so no one can interfere with his judgement calls.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Devlin has him fired after the scandal about Alvarez's suicide attempt leads to his past resurfacing, and Garvey leaves Oz with his reputation in tatters.
Dr. Tariq Faraj
- Depraved Dentist: A rare heroic version. He uses his skills as a dentist to give some richly deserved comeuppance to Robson.
- The Dog Bites Back: He ruins Robson's life to get back at him for his racist insults.
- The Gadfly: He replaces Robson's gums with those of a black man, then leaks this information in front of the entire prison.
- Put on a Bus: He quits his job to avoid Robson's retaliation, getting away scot-free.
A liaison to Governor Devlin assigned to the prison administration in Season 5. She also happens to be McManus's ex-wife, who he divorced so he could create Em City.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Subverted. While she doesn't really care for programs that focus on inmate reformation, she'll still let them be run with no interference should she hear a good argument for them.