The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) has been working to lower the county jail population for years. Now, they're looking for a consultant to help recommend long term solutions.
This consultant is different than the one just OK’d by the jail trust. This person will help CJAC make recommendations about the current facility and possibly a different approach to a new building.
“Because of the work with our community partners the jail population is dramatically lower than it was years and years ago," said CJAC Executive Director Timothy Tardibono.
Tardibono told News 9 they now have the opportunity to start planning for what's next.
“One of the things we are wanting the consultant to look at is the medical unit,” said Tardibono. “The current jail really has no medical unit.”
Instead, the 13th floor has been made into a make-shift medical area for the inmates.
"So, we think there could be federal money related to building a medical unit that is COVID resistant," said Tardibono.
They also think there could be further federal funding for expanding the intake area.
With the jail population around 1,600 now for over a year, the council is also starting to consider a new building that would hold the current population.
“A consultant has never been given the opportunity to imagine what would a 1,600 bed jail look like, they’ve always been 2,500 or 3,000 and to the taxpayer that's a significant difference,” said Tardibono.
Right now, the council is taking proposals from consultants, with bids due at the end of the month.
They hope to make a decision at their meeting in late June. Any recommendations decided on by the council would then be presented to the trust later this year.