OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) held their monthly meeting on Monday.
For the most part, the meeting was quiet and swift, though the public comments at the beginning of the meeting were loudly critical of the Trust.
Several activists criticized Trust members for what they see as corruption or racketeering, claiming that members of the Trust are enriching themselves through administration of the Jail. They also criticized a proposed contract renewal with the City of Oklahoma City to hold their arrestees at the Jail.
The Trust also heard the monthly operations report of CEO Greg Williams and adopted a budget for the current fiscal year.
Marty Peercy reports Local government
Most public comment at Monday’s meeting came from a small coalition of activists, many of whom have spoken repeatedly at Jail Trust meetings.
Several questioned the legality of one contract renewal on the agenda for the day’s meeting.
Each year the City of Oklahoma City contracts with the County Jail to hold people they have arrested. This year that contract came rather late for approval from the Trust, as it is effective retroactively to July 1, 2021.
One activist said that it’s illegal to make a contract retroactive, which is untrue.
Most of those criticizing the contract concentrated on the legality of the contract by saying that it makes false promises. Specifically, the contract says that the Jail will keep Oklahoma City arrestees in constitutional conditions, something many say the Jail does not fulfill.
None of the speakers mentioned an actual attorney going over the contract for them. Free Press will give more details if they become available.
The Trust approved the contract by a unanimous vote of nine ayes. Activists in the gallery shouted them down, asking how they could sleep at night. One activist shouted, “Their deaths are on your hands,” before leaving the gallery.
In his monthly report, Jail Trust CEO Greg Williams provided insights on the current operations of the Jail.
Monday’s population count was 1,703 this morning, with 203 of those souls waiting to be transported to the custody of the Department of Corrections. The average population for the month of October was 1,845.
In conversation with Jail administration during a break in the meeting, Williams explained the difficulty of finding an accurate number for the population of the Jail, as people are constantly being booked in and released.
COVID numbers have been acceptable at the Jail, with only one detainee testing positive in the last week. One staff member is out with COVID currently.
While staffing remains a great concern, Williams reported that the Jail has the most employees that it’s had since the Trust took over operations.
Williams also addressed the bedbug problem at the Jail, saying that they have partnered with Orkin and another company to ameliorate the problem.
- Staff sprays the intake and booking area for bedbugs daily.
- Anytime a detainee reports bedbugs, their cell and the neighboring cells are sprayed.
- All mattresses are treated before being moved to other cells.
The Trust also heard several other reports and approved a budget for the current fiscal year.
- Future meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month, instead of the third
- The adopted budget includes approximately $32.4 million from the County’s general fund. Revenues from billing the DOC and local municipalities for daily housing will probably decline this year.
- The first ever audit of the Jail Trust has been completed and can be seen here: https://oklahomacounty.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=9953716&GUID=0DDBA658-A506-4DF6-B800-28A57D91299F
The Trust will meet again on December 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Last Updated November 15, 2021, 6:55 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor