State Health Department Bars Oklahoma County Jail From Holding Juveniles

Wednesday, July 14th 2021, 8:14 am


The state health department said the Oklahoma County Detention Center can no longer hold juveniles.

The decision comes after the health department found repeat failures during a surprise inspection June 23.

One day later, an inmate was found dead in his holding cell.

Related: Family Grieving After Inmate Found Dead At Oklahoma County Jail

According to a statement from Oklahoma County Detention Center leaders, the administration has started to review and identify which juveniles the decision could impact.

At this time, only one juvenile in custody will need to be relocated.

The juvenile will be returned to the Oklahoma County juvenile detention facility as soon as possible before the OSDH deadline.

It has been approximately a year since the detention center’s trust took over the jail.

Since then, at least 10 inmates have died in custody, including one who was shot and killed by a police officer after taking a corrections officer hostage.

Three inmates have also escaped during that time.

The detention center is also trying to hire more people to address a major staff shortage highlighted by a state inspection.

Jail administrator Greg Williams said in a statement that he agrees the jail needs work but said he doesn't agree with everything in the report.

"Decades of physical plant neglect and poor construction cannot be overcome in a few months,” Williams said.

The state corrections department said they will be researching ways to address what they feel are inaccuracies in the report with the health department.