OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma County Detention Center’s water will be temporarily shut off Thursday for repairs that jail officials say are absolutely necessary.
Mac Mullings with the Detention Center said in a news release that the water will not be off for more than eight hours.
The shut-off is necessary to make two repairs to the jail’s water system, according to the news release.
“These repairs are absolutely necessary to continue to move the facility toward maximum efficiency and elevate the quality of life for the detainees and staff. Due to the construction of this building, unfortunately there is no way to perform these repairs without draining the pipes and experiencing a relatively short time without water, but in the long run the improvements will be worth it. Thanks to the OCDC maintenance staff and their preparations with the contractors, we have been able to shorten the time frame which benefits those who live and work here,” said Greg Williams, Jail Administrator.
Jail officials have planned fortified meals that will include two hot meals on Thursday. Bottled water will be provided to jail detainees and has already been distributed to each floor, according to the news release.
Detainees have been notified about the shutoff and will be issued water buckets for flushing until water service is restored.
Detention Center visitors will not be allowed bathroom access.
Mullings said the long-planned repairs are needed to solve detention center flooding issues and address some of the concerns cited in the Oklahoma Department of Health report given to the detention center in late March.
Repairs are expected to be performed between 3:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. to “minimize impact” on detainees, according to Mullings.
“Maintenance workers and the contractors have a plan of action and have completed the preparation work ahead of the shut off to make the repairs expeditious,” Mullings said.
A hostage situation occurred at the Detention Center on March 27, in which jail inmates took a detention officer hostage, stabbed him and held a makeshift blade to his throat. Oklahoma City police shot and killed inmate Curtis Williams as he was holding the the officer hostage.
During the hostage situation, inmates seized the officer’s phone and recorded a live video on his Facebook page, complaining in the video about squalid conditions at the jail, including frequently backed up toilets.