OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A surprise inspection by the Oklahoma State Department of Health on the Oklahoma County Detention Center at the end of July found multiple deficiencies with jail operations.
The range of deficiencies ranged from not performing routine sight checks to not treating pest infestations – problems inmates and inmates’ loved ones have been reporting to KFOR for years.
The report states video shows in one case, an inmate collapsed on the cell floor and remained in that position for around five house before he was found. Sight checks in that area were required every 30 minutes.
Inspectors also noted dead and alive bed bugs were found on both bedding and inmates themselves. Roaches and mice were also found in cells.
Read the full report below:
In 2021, the Oklahoma County Detention Center was barred from housing juveniles following a surprise inspection by the OSDH.
In 2022, the jail was facing about $350,000 in fines for noncompliance after multiple and repeated issues were found.
Late Wednesday, the Oklahoma County Jail responded to the report.
“Under the new leadership of the jail and the trust, we have made substantial progress in
addressing the many deficiencies cited in past Department of Health inspection reports. Sight
checks remain a top priority. New policies have been put in place to ensure staff are aware and
trained on how to properly conduct sight checks throughout the facility. Each employee is
required to acknowledge the sight check policy, through the detention center custody manual
website. Staff who fail to conduct proper site checks will be subject to disciplinary which may
include retraining or up to termination of employment. In the specific incident in the report on
April 22, 2023, staff members were terminated, and an investigation is ongoing.
The jail is implementing a Network Infrastructure upgrade which includes installing Wi-Fi
throughout the facility and purchasing mobile devices to be used by staff for daily tasks
including inmate sight checks. The new system will allow staff to be more efficient with their
time and provide checks and balances to make sure sight checks are properly conducted in a
timely manner. Not only does this eliminate wasted paper but also allows for real time
monitoring as tasks are completed.
Pest control continues to be a challenge, but we are undertaking several initiatives to control
the issue. We have created a new position for a certified pest control specialist and are
currently taking applications. This position allows the jail to immediate respond to pest issues
using a certified chemical applicator as opposed to waiting for an outside vendor to arrive.
Renovation is underway in our first pod which includes cleaning, sealing, and painting, walls,
floors, and ceilings. The project will address several health department issues such as pest
control, cleanliness and allow more light into cells.”
“The OSDH report provides area of emphasis for providing excellence in detention Just as we
did with the May 2022 report, we will focus on these areas for improvements,” said Brandi
Garner, CEO Oklahoma County Detention Center. “We are committed to doing everything we
can to address each issue. Our top priority is always the health and safety of the detainees and