Citizens voiced frustration with the Oklahoma County Detention Center following a scathing report by the state health department. Last month, inspectors made a surprise visit to the troubled facility.
Their concerns were detailed in a 58-page report.
The jail's lack of inmate safety, security measures, and sanitation were just a few of the issues noted in the report. The issues were discovered during a visit, many felt was long overdue.
“I’m glad the state got off their butts and started doing their job, showing up to the jail,” said one citizen.
Following their visit April 25, the Oklahoma State Department of Health sent a notice to jail administrator Greg Williams reading in part "the facility was found not to be in substantial compliance with established standards."
The health department's inspection report noted a number of concerns.
Holes in occupied cells that allowed inmates to pass items from cell to cell.
Twenty inmates reported only being able to bathe one to two times a week.
Logs revealed from January 13 through April 12 of 2022, 26 inmates were treated for bed bug bites.
A mother claimed her daughter, an inmate, suffered a severe reaction when bitten.
“April 14, she had a severe reaction, and nobody would help her. She had been calling medical for five hours,” said one mother.
She said she spoke with a detention officer who said he lacked manpower.
“He said look, I only have eight people running this jail tonight,” said the mother.
A review of logs by the health department also revealed detention officers often failed to conduct sight checks.
In February, inmate Andrew Alevar was found dead in his cell from suspected suicide.
In a statement, jail administrator Williams said in part, "Our team is preparing a plan to address the remaining issues outlined in the report with the funding currently available."
He also said some improvements have been made, but citizens said the state's report shows otherwise.
“I’m trying to figure out which truth is true?” said a citizen.
At the end of the month voters will decide on a $260 million bond issue aimed to fund the construction of a new detention center.