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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Monday, the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) heard some public comments, authorized two service contracts, and adopted a timeline for implementing some recommendations from the Detention Center Action Committee (DCAC).

Marty Peercy reports Local government

DCAC Resolution

The main portion of public business to be addressed by the Jail Trust on Monday was an agenda item with two purposes.

First, was a resolution thanking and recognizing the members of the DCAC, a subcommittee formed to do special research and workshopping in order to devise and present a set of recommendations for steps toward improvement for the Detention Center (Jail). The subcommittee worked in small groups over the last several months to fine tune their recommendations in the categories of Population Reduction, Detainee Classification, and Direct Supervision.

Last month those recommendations were finalized by the DACA, and were presented at the monthly meeting of the Jail Trust.

At Monday’s meeting the resolution thanking the members of the committee was bundled with a timeline for implementation of those recommendations. The timeline is not concrete nor very formal.

The Trust voted unanimously to adopt both the resolution and the timeline.

OCDC-Recommendations-timeline-Oct.-182021

Jail Tour concerns

During public comment, Sean Cummings, a local restaurateur and activist, raised a concern to the Trustees. Earlier on Monday, Cummings attended the meeting of the Board of County Commissioners and voiced the same concern.

Cummings said that he has been trying to schedule a tour of the Jail. After many attempts to do so, he was told that to schedule a tour he would need to go through Timothy Tardibono.

Tardibono is the Executive Director of the Central Oklahoma Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC). CJAC is technically a subdivision of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

Cummings’s question was simple. Why would a taxpayer in Oklahoma County need to schedule a tour with a person who does not work for the Jail, the Jail Trust, nor the County?

No people on either Board was able or, perhaps willing, to answer Mr. Cummings’s question.

CEO Report

Jail Trust CEO Greg Williams appeared before the Trust on Monday to deliver his customary monthly report on operations of the Jail.

While staffing remains a constant struggle, the Jail added more new employees in September than employees who separated from employment there.

The population at the Jail as of Monday was 1,724. Of those, 203 are awaiting transfer to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

While COVID is still ravaging our community, Williams painted a somewhat more hopeful picture of COVID in the confines of the Jail.

From October 9 through October 15, 192 COVID tests were administered to detainees, with zero positive results, according to Williams.

Since July of 2020, when the Trust took over operation of the Jail, they have administered 12,763 tests with a total of 513 positive cases among detainees.

As of Friday, two full time employees were out of work with COVID.

Williams’s remarks served as a demonstration of the volume of people who come in and out of the Jail from day to day. 

Williams said that on average, 128 people a day are booked into or out of the Jail. Most detainees come from Oklahoma City Police arrestees, followed by the County Sheriff’s Department, with other municipalities (Edmond and Del City, chiefly) being the other sources of detainees for the Jail.

Ekwerekwu

In a tweet late Monday afternoon, District 1 County Commissioner tweeted the following:

“I am so proud of Francie Ekwerekwu & her time serving on our OK County Jail Trust. 

She fought tirelessly for those being held in our jail & staff working inside. 

She has grown tremendously as a community leader & advocate. 

Thank you Francie. May you never stop fighting!”

Though Ekwerekwu made no formal announcement at Monday’s meeting, the Commissioner’s tweet lends itself to speculation that this was the last of Ekwerekwu’s meetings as part of the Trust.

The Criminal Justice Authority meets again on November 15 at 1:00 p.m.


Last Updated October 18, 2021, 4:34 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor