Widgets Magazine
Page 6 of 13 FirstFirst ... 234567891011 ... LastLast
Results 126 to 150 of 324

Thread: County Jail

  1. #126

    Default Re: County Jail

    Yeah, I'd like to see the Sheriff's office and jail be moved into a much more attractive building. The current design just doesn't do it for me. It's nothing more than a windowless brick monolith.

  2. #127

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Last I heard, when a new jail is built, the push will be for a lower profile structure to go out near Choctaw instead of a new tower in/near the DT courthouses.

    Also last I heard, no politico is really wanting to stand at the forefront to champion building a new jail. I suppose it is possible that some folk may be passing the decision to the feds to be able to say this wasn't their idea they are just stuck with it by them meddlin' fedophiles.

  3. #128

    Default Re: County Jail

    Near Choctaw wouldn't be bad. Then tear down the old building and build a tower in its place

  4. #129

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    This is still an issue I guess. I didn't know. They should rebuild it. Go taller and a better design.

    I don't have a sub but if anyone does can you please post the article or a summary.
    ?Bite the bullet?: As federal deadline looms, commissioner says county jail issue needs to be put on ballot | The Journal Record
    ‘Bite the bullet’: As federal deadline looms, commissioner says county jail issue needs to be put on ballot
    By: Brian Brus The Journal Record September 26, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – It would be easy to let the federal government bear the brunt of taxpayers’ ire if the U.S. Department of Justice sues for a property tax hike to pay for a new county jail. But Oklahoma County Commissioner Ray Vaughn said he wants to avoid that blame game.

    “I don’t like that approach,” he said. “We have a responsibility to get the issue out there and be leaders. The sheriff and I have been discussing this and how we might make it a little more palatable, but we’re certainly not there yet.

    “Nobody’s going to like it,” Vaughn said. “But it’s one of those things that you just have to bite the bullet and put it on the ballot. It’s our job to educate the voters and make them see that it is something that’s necessary.”

    Local officials still have time to step up and educate the public about seemingly insurmountable problems at the jail and take control of the funding vehicle for its replacement, he said. It’s a window of opportunity that is quickly collapsing. A Justice Department memorandum of understanding expires in just five weeks, at which point the county will face an expensive resolution.

    If inspectors determine that the jail still doesn’t meet minimum safety standards after four years of corrective efforts, the Justice Department will likely sue to construct a solution on its own and then charge local residents at an estimated cost of as much as $280 million. And that would require a bond issue backed by property taxes.

    But county officials are still holding hope that their best efforts will be deemed good enough, at least for an extension.

    Until they hear from the Justice Department, it would be inappropriate to discuss hypothetical financial solutions, Sheriff John Whetsel said.

    “We’re still waiting to hear back from the Department of Justice and their last visit,” he said. “We’ve received no report, no update, nothing. So it’s premature for me to have a comment about what may or may not be the next appropriate plan or thing to do until then.

    “I’m trying to take the lead at this point to come up with at least some recommendations as soon as we hear from the Department of Justice,” Whetsel said. “Saying that we’re not doing anything isn’t correct; it’s just that we’re trying to prepare for when we do hear from them.”

    The last inspection took place in the first quarter of the year. Justice Department officials could not be reached for comment about the expected report.

    The 13-story jail has been plagued with problems for more than two decades, significant enough to attract the Justice Department’s attention for civil rights violations. In 2008, inspectors found that the jail was overcrowded, violent and lacking oversight. A written agreement allowed the county to avoid costly sanctions, but it was contingent on a long list of corrections.

    Last year, the Justice Department inspectors once again found inadequate changes in certain areas, particularly the jail’s medical and mental health programs. Although the Justice Department has credited local officials with improvements, nothing in print would suggest an extension is possible. Whetsel said that was implied verbally.

    County Commissioner Willa Johnson said officials are stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place, the feeling that they’ve done everything possible and the realization that it still might not be sufficient. Like the others, she doesn’t know what to do.

    “We need to do something and do it quickly,” she said. “We just can’t not do anything. But we can’t spend the taxpayers’ money on a new facility either if we’re allowed to do something different.”

    Residents have had years to avoid the threat by passing a temporary penny sales tax increase, but commissioners said surveys by the Greater Chamber of Oklahoma City revealed that solution was unpalatable, so they didn’t push it.
    Vaughn said yielding to inertia isn’t really an option anymore.

    “I could walk you through the jail today and you’d see collapsed sewer lines; you’d see a kitchen that has been operating outside the jail for the last three months; and I would show you money that we’re just throwing down the drain, at a cost of about $1.2 million to fix it,” Vaughn said.

    Johnson said that, like Vaughn, she’s leaning toward a new jail, and she’s ready to make a public pitch for it.

    “I personally think we should go at this with a sales tax of our own so that we’ll also have some funds for operations and maintenance,” she said. “And if we put it on a bond issue, by the time we pay those off, we could build the jail.

    “I’m desperate for people to understand just how dire this situation is,” she said.

  5. #130

    Default Re: County Jail

    Thank you

  6. #131

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown


  7. #132

    Default Re: County Jail

    Here is the full article from the link PP posted:

    L.A. may give clues to future of Oklahoma County Jail

    By: Brian Brus The Journal Record October 17, 20140

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Just weeks from the expiration of a temporary agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Oklahoma County officials are looking to California for a hint about the fate of the county jail and its shortfalls.

    A recent report on the Los Angeles County jail is, so far, the only suggestion of a resolution, as Oklahoma County Commissioner Ray Vaughn confirmed Friday that local officials still haven’t heard from the Justice Department on whether residents will be forced to build a new jail to deal with deficiencies in inmate oversight.

    “We don’t usually comment on actions prior to taking them,” said Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson when asked about Oklahoma County’s impending deadline.

    Instead of additional comment, the Justice Department pointed to its Civil Rights Division’s recent follow-up to Los Angeles’ 12-year struggle to provide adequate mental health services and suicide prevention for inmates. Iverson said the document should not be construed as a telegraph of action expected in Oklahoma, but that the comparisons could prove insightful.

    The Justice Department has been watching Oklahoma County’s operations for several years, with a focus on suicides and constitutional rights violations at the detention center. In 2008, the department inspected the site and determined that the jail lacked oversight and was overcrowded and violent.

    For example, the Justice Department found that since 2010, public records show 22 people have died at the jail while in the custody of law enforcement officers. Nine of those deaths were self-inflicted, and 10 inmates died from natural causes. The three remaining deaths in 2013 and 2014 were identified as homicides.

    County officials reached an agreement with the department to avoid costly sanctions, but the memorandum of understanding, or MOU, was contingent on a long list of corrections, including better compliance reporting, suicide risk assessments, mental health referrals and staff training. The MOU listed more than 60 issues to fix before November this year.

    The text of the MOU lacked specific details of recourse if Oklahoma County fell short.

    “If, after reasonable notice to the county, and a reasonable opportunity to cure any deficiencies identified in writing, the United States determines that the county has not substantially complied with this MOU, the United States may pursue litigation against the county,” according to the document. “The United States reserves the right to file an action under (the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act) alleging a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conditions at the jail at any time if it believes the county of Oklahoma County is not making a good-faith effort.”

    County officials like Vaughn have been concerned at what was left unspoken: The federal government’s lawsuit could demand a new jail at the county’s expense. Best estimates place that price tag at about $280 million in a bond issue that would drive up property taxes.

    But the California situation, which also involves civil rights violations and a memorandum of agreement, similar to a MOU, suggests it might not be an all-or-nothing conclusion. In June 2014 the Justice Department wrote to Los Angeles County to inform officials that although the jail had made huge strides in fixing its problems, enough serious systemic deficiencies remained that require stronger remediation.

    “In the face of these ongoing problems and the ineffectiveness of the MOA to ensure that prisoners with mental illness are protected from suicide and other harms, we propose to enter into negotiations with the county regarding a court enforceable agreement to substitute for certain critical terms of the MOA,” the Justice Department wrote.

    In short, in the document the Justice Department urges the Los Angeles sheriff’s office to reduce its prisoner population and divert arrestees with mental illness to other facilities. The feds repeatedly praised the county for its efforts and accomplishments thus far, but ultimately held the line that a better solution was still required.

    Oklahoma County officials have said they believe the U.S. government will also credit the county for its own corrections and provide for an alternative. Sheriff John Whetsel, for example, said in February that the county could begin building an expansion of some sort on an as-needed basis and reduce the current jail to annex operations.

    In the meantime, commissioners Vaughn and Willa Johnson said they’re also trying to determine the best approach to convince residents to pass a tax initiative that would be less expensive than the federal government’s worst-case scenario.

  8. #133

    Default Re: County Jail

    http://www.oklahoman.com/article/5363921?embargo=1

    Did the feds blink?

    The deadline for a threatened takeover of the Oklahoma County jail passed Wednesday without a word from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    In 2003, the department began investigating jail conditions for civil rights violations.

    A “memorandum of understanding” followed in 2009. The document gave county officials five years to make about 60 changes to operations, training, and mental health and medical services.
    Though the 2009 agreement expired Wednesday with several issues unresolved, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said he did not expect the Justice Department to follow through on its threat to take over the jail.

    “Nov. 6 you’re not going to see a change in the way we’re doing business,” Whetsel said.

    A Justice Department attorney did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday

  9. #134

    Default Re: County Jail

    Justice Department says it will keep monitoring Oklahoma County jail | NewsOK.com

    The U.S. Justice Department will continue to monitor conditions at the troubled Oklahoma County jail and has no immediate plans to relinquish oversight, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

    The U.S. Justice Department will continue to monitor conditions at the troubled Oklahoma County jail and has no immediate plans to relinquish oversight, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
    But Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson said in an email Thursday evening that the agreement “does not expire and it will not terminate” this month.
    She said it “only terminates if the parties agree that the jail is in substantial compliance with all provisions of the agreement and maintains that compliance for 12 months.”

    “As of this date, the jurisdiction does not meet this provision,” she wrote. “DOJ’s monitoring of this matter continues.”



    Continued on Page 2

  10. #135

    Default Re: County Jail

    Meanwhile, things have become worse, not better. The kitchen has been offline for months and no hot meals are going out. There are all kinds of plumbing issues. Prisoners are 4 to a cell and on 24/7 lockdown. Considering most of these people are still innocent and not yet proved guilty, this is pretty outrageous. The feds need to take over. County politicians do not have the political will to do what must be done. This is a huge failure on the part of the Commissioners and the Sherrif.

  11. #136

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Meanwhile, things have become worse, not better. The kitchen has been offline for months and no hot meals are going out. There are all kinds of plumbing issues. Prisoners are 4 to a cell and on 24/7 lockdown. Considering most of these people are still innocent and not yet proved guilty, this is pretty outrageous. The feds need to take over. County politicians do not have the political will to do what must be done. This is a huge failure on the part of the Commissioners and the Sherrif.
    I'm all for a jail tax, because if the Feds take it over, it's going to be twice the cost of what it should be done for. Hooray

  12. #137
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,274
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Considering most of these people are still innocent and not yet proved guilty, this is pretty outrageous. .
    I think it is a big stretch to say they are innocent. Maybe they haven't been convicted in court, but saying MOST are innocent is incorrect and misleading. The conviction rates are high.

  13. Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I think it is a big stretch to say they are innocent. Maybe they haven't been convicted in court, but saying MOST are innocent is incorrect and misleading. The conviction rates are high.
    I understand where you are coming from and agree that most probably are guilty but that pesky Bill of Rights does say that we are innocent until proven guilty.

    I'm not ready to start usurping those rights myself.

  14. #139

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I think it is a big stretch to say they are innocent. Maybe they haven't been convicted in court, but saying MOST are innocent is incorrect and misleading. The conviction rates are high.
    consider the post was written by a lawyer, but yeah technically it's true

  15. #140

    Default Re: County Jail

    Maybe they should have written it guilty until proven innocent? That is what it is in reality.

  16. #141
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,274
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCRT View Post
    Maybe they should have written it guilty until proven innocent? That is what it is in reality.
    If there are grounds for arrest and holding, then they are not presumed innocent in a real sense. The innocent until proven guilty is an instruction for the jury. If you want to be entirely simplistic and literal, then there would be NO RIGHT to even arrest or to try someone as they would be innocent. You would have to have a trial first and let everyone roam about and carry on until trial ended. But even a lawyer has to admit that being innocent of a crime and being PRESUMED innocent for trial purposes is entirely different. It just means that guilt has to be proven to mete out any kind of punishment.

    The original implication was that we are just holding lots of innocent people and that is why we have a jail space problem. LOL. We have a jail problem because we have crime problems.

  17. #142

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    Meanwhile, things have become worse, not better. The kitchen has been offline for months and no hot meals are going out. There are all kinds of plumbing issues. Prisoners are 4 to a cell and on 24/7 lockdown. Considering most of these people are still innocent and not yet proved guilty, this is pretty outrageous. The feds need to take over. County politicians do not have the political will to do what must be done. This is a huge failure on the part of the Commissioners and the Sherrif.
    I agree.
    What are the chances the feds actually do take it over? I kind of wish they would because I don't think we're going to do anything about it.

  18. #143

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCRT View Post
    Maybe they should have written it guilty until proven innocent? That is what it is in reality.
    Yeap

  19. #144

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    If there are grounds for arrest and holding, then they are not presumed innocent in a real sense. The innocent until proven guilty is an instruction for the jury.
    Saying the right to be presumed innocent is only a trial right might be technically correct in a narrow legal sense. However, presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of common law that applies to every stage of criminal proceedings from investigation through trial. Indeed, it's during investigation and pretrial detention that an accused person's right to remain silent and not make any statement against himself is most likely to be violated, resulting in a violation of his right to be presumed innocent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    If you want to be entirely simplistic and literal, then there would be NO RIGHT to even arrest or to try someone as they would be innocent. You would have to have a trial first and let everyone roam about and carry on until trial ended. But even a lawyer has to admit that being innocent of a crime and being PRESUMED innocent for trial purposes is entirely different. It just means that guilt has to be proven to mete out any kind of punishment.
    It's true that presumption of innocence doesn't mean actual innocence. And of course not everyone presumed innocent is actually innocent. However, the justification for the arrest of a suspect prior to conviction is not based on absence of presumed innocence. That's a bizarre idea. If police can simply presume a suspect's guilt up until they get in the courtroom, the accused may never even make it there. They could just throw him in prison. But they can't because he has the right to due process, the reason for which is, in part, to protect the life, liberty, and property of every accused person yet to be proven guilty. The presumption of innocence is laced throughout, and it is unequivocally not limited to a criminal trial.

    It's interesting that you somewhat scoff at the idea of those accused of crimes "roaming about and carrying on until trial ended" because that's exactly how criminal trials are supposed to happen. Seizure/arrest/detention/imprisonment are all potential infringements of a myriad of rights. Any action like these by the state that deprives a person of liberty (or property, or their life) prior to conviction and sentencing amounts to unjust punishment of a presumed innocent person if it is not a limited, reasonable, and lawful effort to investigate or prosecute an alleged crime. Consistent with this precept, very nearly all people arrested in the US are able to have their liberty restored – be released from jail – while awaiting trial and during trial, provided they meet the requirements of bail. The Supreme Court held in U.S. v. Salerno "In our society liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception."

    The fact that our society and laws permit these limited and temporary breaches of some rights (pursuant to due process) to make criminal prosecution possible does not suggest in the least that it's permissible for those who suffer such infringement to be deprived of the presumption of their innocence. Many people jailed are never convicted of the crime they were arrested for, and many of those are innocent. Being arrested and jailed should never be a de facto implication of guilt.

    It's our duty to ensure the safety and humane treatment of every person in our jail, most of all those yet convicted.

    In the end, I understand that you are trying to make a distinction between the commonly held, but false "innocent until proven guilty" and the actual presumption of innocence that technically only applies at trial. But reverence for our rights (including the rights of criminals) and for defending and expanding them is vital.

  20. Default Re: County Jail

    Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica!

  21. #146

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinpate View Post
    Last I heard, when a new jail is built, the push will be for a lower profile structure to go out near Choctaw instead of a new tower in/near the DT courthouses.

    Also last I heard, no politico is really wanting to stand at the forefront to champion building a new jail. I suppose it is possible that some folk may be passing the decision to the feds to be able to say this wasn't their idea they are just stuck with it by them meddlin' fedophiles.
    Love your coined term kevinpate: 'fedophiles.'

    Too bad we decided to take a delay-of-game penalty and punt this decision process to the Feds; they will stick it to us--lube less enema style. The only saving grace I see with this will be that if the Feds screw up, it's on them.

    You're correct, no one wanted to take on that new county jail dilemma. When the Feds finish billing us with a new county jail 'invoice' that will include fees for oversight, planning, development, construction, taxes, tax on taxes, and a 25% gratuity to discourage any future thoughts to entertain Federal intervention.

    Just stack another 14 stories on top of this aging edifice and call it a day... It will make a lot of OKCTalk forum skyscraper proponents, HAPPY!

    It would have been less expensive for us to undertake this project on our own.

  22. #147

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    While I am not crazy about the OK county jail, adding height to it would only make a bad problem far, far, worse, even if it could be done.

    Building low profile and spread out away from DT probably does make the most sense. It really has not mussed matters up here in Cleveland County or elsewhere where that approach is taken. Then again, ours wasn't built all that many miles out of DT really (5 or so miles)

  23. Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by ethansisson View Post
    Saying the right to be presumed innocent is only a trial right might be technically correct in a narrow legal sense. However, presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of common law that applies to every stage of criminal proceedings from investigation through trial...

  24. #149

    Default Re: County Jail

    Forget the county jail. I'm here for the discussion on jurisprudence. Who's up for a discussion of the Coffin case?

    All joking aside, a facility that fails to keep inmates and staff healthy and safe has no place in our society.

  25. #150

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by boitoirich View Post
    Forget the county jail. I'm here for the discussion on jurisprudence. Who's up for a discussion of the Coffin case?


    Quote Originally Posted by boitoirich View Post
    All joking aside, a facility that fails to keep inmates and staff healthy and safe has no place in our society.
    Hear, hear!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 57
    Last Post: 11-12-2010, 07:43 PM
  2. Logan County Jail
    By jman253 in forum Suburban & Other OK Communities
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-24-2007, 10:22 AM
  3. Odd happenings at the Oklahoma County Courthouse
    By okcnative in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 10-06-2006, 09:16 PM
  4. Oklahoma City's expansion...
    By AFCM in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-06-2006, 01:32 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO