County Commissioners Agree On Need For New Jail, Disagree On Funding

Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 7:23 am
By: Jordan Dafnis, Jake Meyer


Oklahoma County is one step closer to getting a new jail. The county commissioners approved the proposal on Monday. 

The cost of the jail will be almost $300 million, according to the recommendation. 

Commissioners have discussed whether funding from the American Rescue Plan could be used to shoulder some of the costs.   

County Commissioner Carrie Blumert said she believes a new jail is necessary, but is not completely sold on using ARPA funding. 

"I have been very open with my concern over utilizing American Rescue Plan Act dollars towards this new building. We need further legal guidance on if those funds can be put toward a new jail. We must do this right, but, the need for a new facility is clear," said Blumert on Twitter. 

The use of ARPA funds has not been approved by the commissioners. Other funding options would need voter approval. 

Plans presented by FSB Architects and Engineers would provide 1,800 total beds, space for diversion program partners and medical and mental health treatment areas. 

"Focus the design on diversion at intake. Really when someone's brought to the detention center that is when we have an opportunity to keep them out of the detention center," said John Semtner, with FSB. 

You can read more about the proposal here

No contracts have been signed at this time.