The Village City Council Votes To Send Municipal Inmates To MWC Jail Instead Of Okla. Co. Jail

Tuesday, August 17th 2021, 5:35 pm
By: Hunter McKee

THE VILLAGE, Oklahoma -

One local municipality said they will stop sending some of their inmates to the Oklahoma County Detention Center due to the jail's conditions and recent inmate deaths.

The Village City Council voted unanimously Monday night to send municipal inmates to Midwest City. 

They said the decision is because of ongoing issues they've seen at the detention center.

"The jail trust has had literally a year in a half to fix these issues, and they have failed," said The Village Councilwoman Cathy Cummings.

The vote includes all Village municipal inmates, but state inmates will still be sent to Oklahoma County. 

"The Village is not going to put up with human rights abuses that are going on right now," said Cummings.

However, Mark Opgrande with the jail trust told News 9 they're making improvements, including their water system, air filtration, and fighting bed bugs.

"It's a lot of working on the infrastructure," said Opgrande. "Trying to sure up this building."

With over 1,600 inmates, the jail is also working to increase their staffing.  Right now, there are 337 full-time employees at the jail, but their goal is 400.

Opgrande said they feel like they're trending in the right direction, but it's not an easy process.

"We've gone up, we've gone down," said Opgrande. "We continue to either hire and lose people right at about the same rate. We average 328 individuals for the entire year that we've been here."

For The Village, they only had 10 municipal inmates all of last year, but they feel their protection is vital.

"If we could save one life, it's well worth it," said Cummings. "If we could save one person from not having to eat their meal off a moldy dinner tray, it's worth it."

The move will take effect once approved by the Midwest City Council at their meeting next week.