Recent search found inmates wrongly jailed at Oklahoma County

OKLAHOMA CITY - A recent check at the Oklahoma County Jail found inmates who shouldn’t even be there and around a dozen without court dates.

“What more evidence do we need that there are serious problems with the sheriff’s office's operations of the jail?,” Oklahoma County Commissioner Kevin Calvey said.

Oklahoma County Public Defender Bob Ravitz said the numbers were found after a search done earlier this month with the sheriff.

“This is something that unfortunately has existed forever,” Ravitz said.

But the jail said it boils down to communication problems between agencies.

“What we’re trying to do is to be able to make sure that everyone specifically has a system that we can all talk together with in order to make sure that if the ball gets dropped along anywhere along the system, another agency can pick it up,” said Mark Opgrande, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office PIO.

The current system still lists former inmates who may now be in mental health facilities, like Christian Costello, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after murdering his father, former Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello in 2015.

“There never would be a reason why Christian Costello would ever be brought back to the Oklahoma County Jail. His name needs to be removed from there,” Ravitz said.

The current computer system the jail uses is over 20 years old, a problem the sheriff is actively working to address.

“The main issue is getting a system that will talk with the other systems in place in the county,” Opgrande said.

But Commissioner Calvey said something more needs to be done to keep these mistakes from happening in the future.

“I think better oversight, accountability and transparency in jail operations will assist with that. So, that would be the goal,” Calvey said.

Opgrande said the jail currently has a proposal out now for a new computer system. He hopes a new system will help fix some of these issues.

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