OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the state prepares for a few changes to the law, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt says city leaders are ready.
On Thursday, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt told News 4 that although the Oklahoma County Jail is a county property, city leaders are still looking to find solutions to help address overcrowding and other issues at the jail.
“The city wants to be a team player in any solution to these challenges, and we have already been a contributor to the overall criminal justice reform effort,” Holt said.
In recent years, Holt says that the county jail population has dropped. However, he says more needs to be done to address the issues that county leaders are still dealing with at the facility.
“We’re not necessarily the leaders on the solution because we’re at the city level not at the county level. We are putting forward proposals in MAPS 4 that are a part of an overall solution, including the diversion hub. So there’s a project in MAPS 4 that puts people on a different path. The diversion hub is a place where services come together for those who are interacting with the criminal justice system, and provides them with mental health, substance abuse, job services, to get them through the process so that they have a better path other than to cycle through the criminal justice system,” Holt said.
Holt says MAPS 4 also works to address mental health issues, which lead many people to the Oklahoma County Jail.
“We also have mental health crisis centers in MAPS 4 that ensure that people who are having a mental health crisis aren’t going to the jail,” he said.
On another topic, state leaders are preparing for the start of permitless carry, which goes into effect on Friday.
“Gun laws are made at the state level. Here at the city level, we merely enforce state laws,” Holt said. “All that permitless carry changes is who can carry, not necessarily where, so it doesn’t change a lot at the city level.”
Holt says Oklahoma City police have been studying the law and are prepared for its implementation.