OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — In a lengthy but peaceful meeting of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority (Jail Trust) on Monday, the Trust voted to formalize the establishment of the Detention Center Action Committee and hired an outside firm for accounting and accounting consultant services.
The Trust received several reports about the financial status of the Jail and a report about operations.
The newly formed Detention Center Action Committee (DCAC) has met twice so far, though on Monday the Trust sought to formalize the committee in name, membership, and purpose.
According to the resolution accepted by the Trust, the sub-committee’s official name is the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority Action Committee. The membership of the committee is composed of Trustee Francie Ekwerekwu, Trustee Sue Ann Arnall, and Trustee Ben Brown. Ekwerekwu is named as chair.
The resolution allows for the addition of new committee members by a two-thirds vote of the Trustees on the committee.
The purpose of the committee is to “study and make recommendations” to the larger Trust regarding detainee classification, population reduction, detainee supervision, along with “any other topic regarding” the Jail.
After some minor discussion of the potential fruitfulness of the committee, the Trust passed the resolution.
District 3 County Commissioner Kevin Calvey was out on vacation, so his Chief Deputy Myles Davidson voted against the committee as his proxy. Calvey’s appointee to the Trust, former Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb abstained from the vote.
The Trust approved a letter of agreement with private accounting firm Crawford & Associates, P.C. on Monday.
The scope of services offered by the firm include preparing monthly and annual financial reports, budget preparation and amendment services, forensic accounting assistance, and tax and other regulatory report assistance along with many other services.
The standard hourly rates in the agreement are:
- Firm president, $255
- Shareholders, $170
- Senior managers, $155
- Managers, $130
- Other professional staff, $115
- Clerical staff, $45
The Trust voted unanimously to the letter of agreement, with very little discussion.
Questions from the public about the bidding process for these services went unanswered by Trustees.
Trust CEO Greg Williams offered two reports on Monday. The first report was on CARES Act projects at the Jail.
Williams explained that most of the CARES Act projects, including air handling, plumbing updates, and updates to video cameras for surveillance and remote court hearings are over 75% finished.
Williams went on to give a presentation about operations at the Jail.
Staffing is still the highest priority, according to Williams. Currently the Jail has 347 staff members. The Jail has raised wages by 10% in order to be a more competitive employer.
The Jail also now offers on-the-job training before new hires have to attend academy. This allows onboarding to be faster, and getting new employees on the payroll. Williams said that they have recently made 29 new job offers.
From February 13 through March 15, the jail tested 478 detainees with zero positive cases.
Williams reported that the Jail was given 500 soon-to-expire doses of the Pfizer vaccine recently, but due to the late hour, they were only able to administer 228 first doses before the rest expired. He said that the Jail will receive a very large number of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which will be more suitable for the jail population, since only one dose is required.
The detainee count as of March 15 was 1696.
The Jail Trust meets again on Monday, April 19, at 1:00 p.m.
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Last Updated March 15, 2021, 4:26 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor