Oklahoma Co. Jail Administrators, Trustees Address Hostage Situation, Moving Forward


Wednesday, March 31st 2021, 5:13 pm
By: Ashley Holden


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma County jail administrators held a news conference for the first time since Saturday.

The Chair of the Oklahoma County Jail Trust Tricia Everest and the Jail Administrator Greg Williams gave new details on the hostage situation and shared what they are doing to improve conditions inside the jail.

Since the jail trust took over, three inmates have escaped and nine have died including Curtis Williams, the inmate involved in Saturday's hostage situation.

In the Facebook Live taken on Saturday, watchers can hear inmates complaining about lack of food, showers and sewage issues.

"Those conditions are being addressed," said Williams. "I mean, they are vigorously being addressed since I got here."

On Wednesday, the trust insisted they have implemented a new water management system, more time for inmates to be outside of their cell and are looking at how long inmates are being held at the jail.

Another major issue administrators are dealing with is understaffing. Administrators admitted in a release on Tuesday that those shortages have created safety issues.

Williams said the corrections officer taken hostage was the only staff on that floor at the time.

News 9 asked if that was typical or caused by understaffing.

"No, it's very typical that officers work alone," said Williams.

For now, 68 state Department of Corrections employees are helping the jail with their staffing, and they have put a pay raise in place.

But trustees said this is a short term solution. A more permanent fix is something the jail trust will address at a special meeting on Thursday.

"Can we work out a partnership with the sheriff's office so that we have more staffing coming into the building and recognizing how we can do some improvement?" said Everest.

Williams said details about the hostage situation are being investigated and a report will come later. The Oklahoma City Police Department is leading that investigation.