OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – More inmates at the Oklahoma County Detention Center are complaining about the bed bug situation. One KFOR spoke with said he got a new mattress recently from the jail, but it’s not enough. The jail told KFOR they aren’t finished working on the problem.
The Oklahoma County Detention Center is following through on their promise to bring new mattresses to inmates to help combat the bed bug situation, but inmate Larry Dupree said they are still everywhere.
“Mentally, emotionally. I mean you know, some nights I stay up and cry because I mean, I can’t do nothing. I’m locked in a cell. They got power over me, I aint got power over myself. I can’t get up and get me no ointment. I can’t get up and clean my sheets or clean my bed and it’s just mentally abusive,” said Larry Dupree, inmate at Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Dupree is asking for more help fighting the bed bug problem inside the Oklahoma County Jail.
Dupree said even after the jail provided him with a new mattress, he’s still seeing bed bugs coming out of the vents, in his mail, and even his toilet paper.
“There’s not a night that we don’t stay up and fight bed bugs and kill them and I mean they’re biting us all night… You know to stay up scratching and itching all night and I can’t even do nothing about it because I’m locked in a cell,” said Dupree.
Dupree said he’s had bed bugs since he got there back in May.
He believes the jail needs to do more and spray all of the cells over and over until they’re gone.
“They’re not doing nothing about it. They haven’t came to spray. We’ve put in numerous requests. We did our paperwork on it but it seems like we’re not heard,” said Dupree.
Dupree’s sister, Lachrisa Dupree is trying to be a voice for her brother and the other inmates who need help.
“He was very appreciative of the mattress, but I do not believe that that is not enough… I know it’s rough being in there already, even though whatever they’ve done, but they don’t, you know, deserve to be treated like they’re inhumane,” said Lachrisa Dupree, brother battling bed bugs inside Oklahoma County Detention Center.
The Oklahoma County Detention Center told KFOR they are working on a permanent solution.
“I’m looking at hiring a certified applicator for spraying that’ll be on staff full time and we’ll be using some pretty significant chemicals to address it,” said Brandi Garner, CEO of Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Brandi Garner, CEO of Oklahoma County Detention Center said they have already started spraying and once the certified applicator is hired, they will work on treating the entire building from the basement, all the way to the 13th floor.
“In addition to that, we’re looking at filling in the concrete blocks of the walls and painting them, which addresses a number of deficiencies… We’re not only filling up a place where they are nesting, but we are also increasing the reflectivity in the soil. We’re increasing the cleanliness, sanitation,” said Garner.
Lachrisa Dupree said she will continue to fight until the bed bugs are all gone.
“It’s just it’s not right. So I’m going to do whatever I can, whether it be rallies, petition, I mean, whatever it is. So, you guys are going to hear that this is not the last you’ll hear from me because, I mean, something has to be done if I don’t speak up,” said Dupree.
The Oklahoma County Detention Center said they plan to have all treatment completed by the end of this year.