“It’s just uninhabitable,” Mother claims son unable to shower for 19 days at Oklahoma County Jail

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The mother of an inmate inside the Oklahoma County Jail claims her son has not had a shower in 19 days.

The allegation is one of dozens that KFOR has received regarding conditions inside the jail since a deadly hostage situation on the 10th floor of the jail a few weeks ago. 

“As of today, it’s been 19 days since he’s been able to have a shower,” Lana James told News 4 on Monday. 

James said that’s only one of the many issues her son is dealing with inside the Oklahoma County Jail. 

“You’re dealing with cockroaches, the bed bugs and the mold. He was in a cell that was covered in black mold all over,” she said. 

News 4 has received a flood of allegations from loved ones of inmates in recent weeks, including allegations of bed bugs, mold and inmates not showering in weeks. 

Many of those allegations were confirmed in an OSDH inspection report that News 4 obtained last month, which found the jail “not to be in substantial compliance with established standards,” warning that if conditions are not improved within 60 days, OSDH will file a complaint with the Attorney General or District Attorney. 

KFOR also received all of the complaints filed with OSDH since the jail trust took over operations of the jail last July. Bed bugs and not enough working showers were found to be “substantiated” in those complaints as well. 

“It’s just uninhabitable,” James said. 

James is one of dozens of family members of inmates who have contacted News 4 regarding conditions inside the jail since a deadly hostage situation on the 10th floor of the jail last month. 

The next week, jail administrators held a press conference addressing the hostage situation and jail conditions, mainly blaming a staffing shortage. 

Officials also announced the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has brought in support staff to help out for the time being. 

“They were getting their meals on time, they were not getting showers because they were still on lockdown because of the incident but they were doing cell checks on a regular basis, and then they left after five days. He said everything has gone just back to the same,” James said. 

KFOR contacted jail officials to check on that and ask about the shower situation and we have not yet heard back. James says her son was let out to shower around 1 p.m. Monday.

“They should be afforded at least their basic human rights,” said James. “It’s heartbreaking to say the least.”

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