More Potential Oklahoma County Jail Sites Revealed, Protest Planned

Oklahoma County Commissioners will discuss possible jail sites during Wednesday’s County Commissioner meeting. 

Tuesday, February 20th 2024, 5:38 pm



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The hope was to have the site of the new Oklahoma County Jail selected this week, but now more potential sites are being added for consideration. Oklahoma County Commissioners will discuss those options during Wednesday’s County Commissioner meeting. Of those locations, two in northeast Oklahoma City have received strong opposition.

“The services are here, so I ask for your support to build the jail where it needs to be built, where it is,” Rep. Jason Lowe said at last week’s Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council meeting.

However, commissioners are looking elsewhere, with nine potential sites, most of them outside of the downtown area.

“We're trying to narrow down these sites because we really felt like this decision needed to be made by this month and that's obviously halfway over so we're getting pretty close,” said Commissioner Brian Maughan, District 2.

One of the most viable sites, according to the construction oversight board, is the location at Southeast 22nd Street and Grand Boulevard, near Del City.

“The opportunity is to solve a problem that the residents are presenting which is people just leave and walk into parks and neighborhoods,” said AJAC Executive Director Timothy Tardibono.

Tardibono says that won’t be the case when the new jail is built because inmates will not be released into the community.

“If you have a ride, your family, attorney, bondsman is taking you somewhere, that's acceptable,” said Tardibono. “But for those who don't have transportation lined up they would be headed to the diversion hub or if they're unhoused, they would go to the city rescue mission.”

Tardibono says the transportation plan includes a shuttle system from the jail to a diversion hub.

“What we're going to do at the new location, the plan is being developed to transport them to a current provider which is a diversion hub during the day,” explained Tardibono. “The new jail would be designed with an overnight holding area to hold them until the shuttle starts running again at 7 a.m.”

“I'm sure they're going to have concerns no matter what, but this is going to largely address it and it's why I have been okay with my conscience about it because I knew we were going to have a plan to address the vast majority of those situations,” added Commissioner Maughan.

In response to another property added to the list, at Northeast 23rd Street and Coltrane, northeast Oklahoma City leaders have planned a march from that proposed site to downtown Oklahoma City. The protest and march begin at 6 a.m. Wednesday at Northeast 23rd Street and Coltrane.

Commissioner Carrie Blumert said in a statement:

“I am disappointed and angry that Commissioner Maughan and Commissioner Davidson continue to put sites up for consideration in Northeast OKC and Del City. We’ve had numerous meetings and heard from hundreds of citizens that they don’t want the jail near their schools, their neighborhoods, and in areas that have a history of neglect at the hands of local government.
“Local government cannot continue to put the things no one wants in black and brown neighborhoods. We have to consider the history of NEOKC and its long-standing fight for a safe, thriving community, oftentimes going up against their own government to do so. It is my firm belief that our new jail should not be a part of that history. These communities deserve so much better than our new jail.
“I have been against these sites from the very beginning and will continue to do everything in my power to remove them from consideration. I will never vote yes on a site in NEOKC or Del City. It is unfair to black and brown communities, who are already disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, to bear the burden of our new jail location.
“The fact that my fellow Commissioners continue to even put these sites up for consideration is incredibly frustrating and exhausting for residents who continually have to fight for themselves.
“I will always be an advocate for NEOKC & Del City. Ensuring that our new jail location is as close to existing social services as possible and is built to the highest standards for detainees, while protecting our community is my top priority.” 

Here is the list of properties on the agenda:

  1. Southwest 74th Street and Rockwell
  2. Existing location at 201 North Shartel
  3. Reno and Exchange
  4. Interstate 240 and Sunnylane
  5. 1901 East Grand Blvd
  6. 3521 Northeast 23rd Street
  7. Northeast 63rd Street and Post Road
  8. Townley Trust Land
  9. Interstate 240 and Anderson Road

The County Commissioner meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 9 a.m. at the Oklahoma County Building 320 Robert South Kerr in Oklahoma City.

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