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Oklahoma County Jail Loses Certification To House Juvenile Offenders After Health Department Inspection

The Oklahoma County Detention Center
Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma County Detention Center will lose its state certification to detain minors on Friday after health department inspections found the jail didn’t meet state standards.

The State Department of Health previously found in a February inspection that the jail failed to conduct hourly sight checks on children under 18 held in its custody.

The jail's own records also indicated there were not enough staff available for minors to speak with at all times, and an emergency phone system reserved for minors under duress either rang repeatedly with no answer or did not ring at all.

The health department warned the jail about the deficiencies. An unannounced followup inspection in June found the problems weren’t fixed.

A news release from the detention center notes only one child, as defined by statute, is currently detained at the jail.

The jail’s Chief Operations Officer William Monday acknowledged there are many problems with the jail but claimed not all of the failings noted in the health department’s report are accurate.

Monday said jail staff are researching avenues to address their disagreements with the report.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Quinton Chandler joined StateImpact Oklahoma in January 2018, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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