Editor’s note: This is the seventh and final installment of an ongoing series about Oklahoma County Jail, its development and history, ongoing structural issues and possible remedies. Visit okgazette.com for ongoing coverage and more of this story. Nearly anyone you ask who works in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system will tell you the state’s system needs have…
Overcrowding issues at the Oklahoma County Jail are nothing new. But similar problems aren’t confined to it or to other local county jails.
Ravitz also said there are not enough assistant district attorneys or public defenders for indigent clients who can’t afford legal representation.
Oklahoma County Chief District Court Judge Ray Elliott said he understands concerns county commissioners have about the current facility. He also worries about where a new one might be built.
Lack of appropriate holding space, natural lighting, recreational areas and staffing require additional funding to remedy, which would likely require an additional sales tax vote. Whetsel said that also means a new structure must be built.
Whetsel, in his second run for the county’s top law officer position, won by calling for improved public safety for all county residents, not by pointing to problems at the lockup.
Accountability. More than anything else, this dominates Oklahoma County’s elected leaders’ thoughts as they and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce ponder the possibility of calling an election asking voters to consider two jail-related proposed sales taxes.
We’ve talked about the need to replace Oklahoma County’s jail before.