JAIL TRUST CITIZENS ADVISORY BOARD ASKS INMATES THEIR CONCERNS
News 9 - April 12, 2023 6:46 am
OCDC Inmate asked to give concerns.
OKLAHOMA CITY –
Inside the Oklahoma County Detention Center, inmates said they need better access to healthcare. They told the Citizens Advisory Committee they’re struggling both physically and mentally.
Committee members checked in to the Oklahoma County Detention Center and were taken upstairs to talk to inmates in the men and women pods, this is something they do monthly.
“Those closest to the pain ought to be closest to the power and they ought to be included in making those decisions,” Kris Steele said.
New monthly booking info shows more than 2/3 of people in custody have been to jail before. The committee said they want to improve their quality of life before and after their release.
Steele said they asked about things like living conditions, programs, and the quality of food. He said he was told the food is better, but medical care is still a concern.
“One of the things that was mentioned today is that there was a need for additional site checks,” Steele said.
Jail Trust Interim CEO Brandi Garner said these issues are not surprising. There are several medical initiatives in the works right now, starting with updating the booking process.
“They get a full medical intake before they ever allow them to be brought into custody of our facility,” Garner said.
They’re also prioritizing Medical OR Bonds.
“We’re evaluating every person that’s in custody for significant mental health or medical issues and we’re passing that information along to the district attorney, to the courts, to the public defender and we are letting them know we have somebody’s in here that is at significant risk of declining while they’re here,” Garner said.
Garner believes this will help lower the number of jail deaths in the facility. It’s also a recommendation made from the Grand Jury report.
“We did clearly here that there are deficiencies in access to both physical and mental health services at this time we heard there are improvements being made but that’s still a significant issue,” Steele said.