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Thread: County Jail

  1. #176

    Default Re: County Jail

    There were some very good ideas coming out of that committee.

    On OK County jail: ?We don?t want business as usual? | News OK

    One size fits all no longer fits.

    If there's a message being sent by a study committee regarding the need for a new Oklahoma County jail, that is it.

    •Tossing the mentally ill in jail because there's nowhere else to send them no longer fits.

    •Locking low-level offenders up rather than sentencing them to community service no longer fits.

    •A drug court that lacks sufficient capacity for treatment and oversight no longer fits.

    •Living under the threat of federal intervention to set things straight no longer fits.

    "We don't want business as usual," Stacey Trumbo, the county engineer and chairman of a committee that studied jail needs told Oklahoma County commissioners this week

  2. #177

    Default Re: County Jail

    To the above point, you need to go back and look at the record of the exact same county leadership (Whetsel) that is asking for this new jail. Zero confidence whatsoever in the above nice goals. You don't get to just adopt the loveliest goals you see on HuffPo when you have no track record of anything remotely close.

  3. #178

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    To the above point, you need to go back and look at the record of the exact same county leadership (Whetsel) that is asking for this new jail. Zero confidence whatsoever in the above nice goals. You don't get to just adopt the loveliest goals you see on HuffPo when you have no track record of anything remotely close.
    OK, so you're in favor of leaving everything exactly as it is then regardless of what the good goals are? I'm not defending Whetsel, but he was not sheriff when this jail was designed and built.

  4. #179

    Default Re: County Jail

    From the NewsOK article: "Police officers would have somewhere besides jail to take people in the midst of mental breakdowns..."

    Is that seriously what's happening now? Officers, at one time, took emotional breakdowns to the Crisis Center. Does that no longer happen?

    If they are seriously taking people who suffer mental breakdowns to jail, that makes as much sense as taking someone with a heart attack to jail. Just because one is the brain and the other the heart - they are both medical issues. Neither deserving of jail.

  5. #180

    Default Re: County Jail

    There are a lot of problems with the way the county courthouse is run. Many of the problems they are talking about fixing have nothing to do with the jail. That's not to say that the jail doesn't need replaced -- it does. But more mental health treatment has nothing to do with that.

  6. #181

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by hoyasooner View Post
    There are a lot of problems with the way the county courthouse is run. Many of the problems they are talking about fixing have nothing to do with the jail. That's not to say that the jail doesn't need replaced -- it does. But more mental health treatment has nothing to do with that.
    Well, according to Sheriff Whetsel, the jail is the most important thing with mental health and substance abuse playing a huge part in the feds imminent takeover of the County Jail - which will be billed back to the county. These things have to be fixed - and soon. This goes back to John Ashcroft and W's DOJ. They've made it clear the extensions and delays are over.

  7. #182

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    From the NewsOK article: "Police officers would have somewhere besides jail to take people in the midst of mental breakdowns..."

    Is that seriously what's happening now? Officers, at one time, took emotional breakdowns to the Crisis Center. Does that no longer happen?

    If they are seriously taking people who suffer mental breakdowns to jail, that makes as much sense as taking someone with a heart attack to jail. Just because one is the brain and the other the heart - they are both medical issues. Neither deserving of jail.
    They aren't, either it's a miscommunication or a blatantly false statement by those on the project. I'd say by and large the biggest issue is people being taken to the Crisis Center, Saints, Integris, when they should be going to county. Not the other way around. The mental health system is a train wreck and many are exploiting it for attention and to avoid incarceration for their criminal activities.

  8. #183

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    They aren't, either it's a miscommunication or a blatantly false statement by those on the project. I'd say by and large the biggest issue is people being taken to the Crisis Center, Saints, Integris, when they should be going to county. Not the other way around. The mental health system is a train wreck and many are exploiting it for attention and to avoid incarceration for their criminal activities.
    I don't doubt that is happening. However, that's what happens when we are clueless and have no real expertise with a formal system of intake to sift the crooks from those who are mentally ill. Even Whetsel says they are not prepared for dealing with all that and that's why something must be done.

  9. #184

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    OK, so you're in favor of leaving everything exactly as it is then regardless of what the good goals are? I'm not defending Whetsel, but he was not sheriff when this jail was designed and built.
    He has been sheriff since the mid-90s and has presided over a period (throughout several major corruption scandals) when county spending shifted overwhelmingly toward public service, which is coincidentally the single largest public service overlap between the county and city. Why?

    Here he is again asking for $300 or $400 million and you people are content to fork it over, when the city/county/state refuse to fork over funding for services for people. This is why we can't have nice things. This is costing a ton of money.

    How does Tulsa get away with having a $72 million jail facility? How much are we spending on a jail compared to other cities? How much are we spending on mental health, addiction, and homeless services compared to other cities and counties? What are we really doing in the bigger picture?

  10. Default Re: County Jail

    I have been saying for 7 years now that OKC was building one giant unsustainable economic model and warned of the tax liability trap they were setting for themselves.

  11. Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    ...Here he is again asking for $300 or $400 million and you people are content to fork it over, when the city/county/state refuse to fork over funding for services for people. This is why we can't have nice things. This is costing a ton of money...

  12. #187

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    To the above point, you need to go back and look at the record of the exact same county leadership (Whetsel) that is asking for this new jail. Zero confidence whatsoever in the above nice goals. You don't get to just adopt the loveliest goals you see on HuffPo when you have no track record of anything remotely close.
    Do we wait until the Justice Department dictates the next course of action (?):

    The Journal Record reported Tuesday that the Justice Department can file suit ordering the county to pay for the improvements within three years. Officials said that would amount to a property tax increase of about $226 on a $100,000 home in the first year alone.
    October 2013: Oklahoma County awaits federal response on jail | Oklahoma City - OKC - KOCO.com

  13. #188
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    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Thanks for the laugh!

    "Here he is again asking for $300 or $400 million" maybe he needs even newer and fancier vehicles to buy. Then spend a little bit on patching the jail.

  14. #189

    Default Re: Oklahoma County Jail Expansion

    Maybe they should come talk to the Cleveland County folk. I don't recall the exact numbers but I think TPTB down here managed to come in well under what they thought it might take. Of course, there's the possibility that might muss up some plans.

  15. Default Re: County Jail

    I'm the #1 anti Whetsel voice. I vote for pretty much anyone that's running against him. As said, he's managed to push the county into the largest overlap of force we've ever seen, and it has not only drained resources from unincorporated county land (which is where he SHOULD be) but also caused a highly expensive unsustainable model to be created. He constantly asks to use grants to purchase specialized vehicles but always seems to forget that you have to man, store, and maintain them with normal operating money. Not to mention the fact that HE NEVER USES THE THINGS! Those dang ex-military vehicles he's so happy about were purchased under the claim that they can be used to enter tornado areas to rescue people from debris-ridden areas. That's NEVER happened!!!!! It just sits around like all of the other military surplus and wastes resources. He's a perfect example of the over-militarized police force. His purpose should be to run Unincorporated areas and to manage a jail...that's it.

    Maybe we could play a Jimmy Carter on him. We'll approve your jail, but you have to agree to NOT run in the next election...or ever again.

    That being said, we don't really have a choice anyway. Either we build a new jail, or the feds are going to start fining us even more than the cost of the jail. I was about to write something about how I didn't think Tulsa and OK counties were a good comparison, but when you look at where the county line is, it's actually a pretty good comparison since the bulk of the Tulsa metro lives more in Tulsa county....in fact OK has more of its population living outside of OK county that Tulsa does in Tulsa county....so it makes even less sense here.

  16. #191

    Default Re: County Jail

    Some interesting comments from Meg Salyer and Ed Shadid.

    http://www.oklahoman.com/article/543...%20jail%20plan

  17. #192

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by ljbab728 View Post
    There were some very good ideas coming out of that committee.

    On OK County jail: ?We don?t want business as usual? | News OK

    One size fits all no longer fits.

    If there's a message being sent by a study committee regarding the need for a new Oklahoma County jail, that is it.

    •Tossing the mentally ill in jail because there's nowhere else to send them no longer fits.

    •Locking low-level offenders up rather than sentencing them to community service no longer fits.

    •A drug court that lacks sufficient capacity for treatment and oversight no longer fits.

    •Living under the threat of federal intervention to set things straight no longer fits.

    "We don't want business as usual," Stacey Trumbo, the county engineer and chairman of a committee that studied jail needs told Oklahoma County commissioners this week

    The problem is, most of that has nothing to do with the jail. You could spend a billion dollars on a new jail, or two pennies, and the results will be the same as far most of those goals.

    I was a public defender in Oklahoma County for 8 years. I have been over to that jail more times than I can count, and it does need replaced. There's virtually nothing you can salvage from that building -- you can't convert it into anything. It should just be torn down. But a new building won't solve bad management, and it won't fix the problems listed above.

  18. #193

    Default Re: County Jail

    A lot of the arguments that the county is making are disingenuous.

    Drug courts, mental health treatment, those are all good things and we should increase the use of diversion programs instead of just locking people up. But those aren't really county jail issues. The county jail is there to hold people who cannot make bail before they go to trial. It is not intended to house prisoners after they have been convicted of crimes, though that does happen sometimes.

    Drug courts provide an alternative to prison. They don't decrease the county jail population at all. Every person in drug court is someone who would otherwise be doing time in Lexington, or at Bill Johnson Correctional Center in Alva, or some place like that. It is not a person who would otherwise be sitting in the county jail. In fact, it usually takes months and months to get approval to enter the drug court program, and if the person is unable to post bail, they spend those months waiting in the county jail. Generally they could sign for a deal where they go to prison on their very first court date, or they can wait six months in jail for a chance at drug court.

    People are not supposed to be taken to jail when they have a mental breakdown. They are supposed to be taken to the Crisis Center for 72 hour observation. However, if the person has committed any sort of crime, they are often taken to the county jail. A crazy man walking up and down the street who smashes a window or spits on a cop will likely be taken to the jail. That's a problem with the way our police are trained to deal with mental health cases. It's also a problem when the DA's office chooses to prosecute those people. I represented a whole lot of crazies where they were acting nuts, a cop approaches them, they don't obey his orders, and a confrontation ensues. That person ends up going to jail, and if no one bonds them out, they sit there. An attorney will be appointed for their first court date, about a month later. The attorney meets them, says "this guy is crazy, he says his name is Darth Vader", and the attorney will order a competency evaluation. The Department of Mental Health will send a doctor to assess the person, and they will send a report about 60 days or so (if you're lucky). If the doctor determines they are incompetent to stand trial, then the court will order them to be transported to the state mental hospital in Vinita. The hospital, however, has no beds available, so the crazy person may have to wait in the county jail for another six months or so before they get transported. Sometimes the person waiting to be taken to Vinita is a crazy guy who murdered his family. Sometimes it's a bag lady who was screaming at a streetlamp, and Officer Jackboot came along and didn't think she was respecting him, so he wrestles her to the ground, and files 'assaulting a police officer' charges against her when he gets a little bitty scratch.

    None of that is going to be fixed with a new jail building.

  19. #194

    Default Re: County Jail

    Very good points, Hoya. I have a better idea where you are coming from. Thanks for taking the time to write this, and yes, it does make one wonder.

  20. #195

    Default Re: County Jail

    I am at a loss as to why they think passing a sales tax is a better idea than a property tax. Isn't a sales tax less progressive overall? As Shadid implies, wouldn't a sales tax increase for the jail jeopardize both MAPS4 and a hypothetical future multi-municipality transit initiative? Why is a sales tax somehow "easier to swallow" than the property levee?

    Maybe someone can give me some context here.

  21. #196

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Do we wait until the Justice Department dictates the next course of action (?):



    October 2013: Oklahoma County awaits federal response on jail | Oklahoma City - OKC - KOCO.com
    Absolutely hell yes, because even if we are going to be spending this kind of money on this kind of facility, somebody will need to provide competent project management.

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    I'm the #1 anti Whetsel voice. I vote for pretty much anyone that's running against him. As said, he's managed to push the county into the largest overlap of force we've ever seen, and it has not only drained resources from unincorporated county land (which is where he SHOULD be) but also caused a highly expensive unsustainable model to be created. He constantly asks to use grants to purchase specialized vehicles but always seems to forget that you have to man, store, and maintain them with normal operating money. Not to mention the fact that HE NEVER USES THE THINGS! Those dang ex-military vehicles he's so happy about were purchased under the claim that they can be used to enter tornado areas to rescue people from debris-ridden areas. That's NEVER happened!!!!! It just sits around like all of the other military surplus and wastes resources. He's a perfect example of the over-militarized police force. His purpose should be to run Unincorporated areas and to manage a jail...that's it.

    Maybe we could play a Jimmy Carter on him. We'll approve your jail, but you have to agree to NOT run in the next election...or ever again.

    That being said, we don't really have a choice anyway. Either we build a new jail, or the feds are going to start fining us even more than the cost of the jail. I was about to write something about how I didn't think Tulsa and OK counties were a good comparison, but when you look at where the county line is, it's actually a pretty good comparison since the bulk of the Tulsa metro lives more in Tulsa county....in fact OK has more of its population living outside of OK county that Tulsa does in Tulsa county....so it makes even less sense here.
    I don't understand how he keeps getting elected. I'm trying to not make my objections seem personal, because spending this kind of money on a jail is objectionable enough.

    That said, there is a serious trust issue here. It's kind of like MAPS, where a lot of the public has continued to support MAPS even if they don't know what it is really doing, just due to a general feeling of trust in local leadership. The fact that our mayor is so well-liked and MAPS is portrayed as his vision, goes a long ways.

    I worry about this election because somehow, inexplicably, he keeps getting elected. My immediate gut is to assume virtually nobody votes in county elections, but I can't imagine city elections are much better (like ~5-10% right?). I think that there is a legitimate chance they get their blank check to rinse and repeat what we already did back in the 90s, and if that happens, not only is that $400 million of our tight resources absolutely wasted, but it also may cost an opportunity for more progressive public safety and penal system reforms that would genuinely enhance quality of life for most Oklahomans.

    I know that I for one would feel "safer" in an Oklahoma County that provides a pathway out of poverty for drug and nonviolent offenders, rather than locking them away in a high-rise or sprawling prison compound.

  22. #197

    Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorTaco View Post
    I am at a loss as to why they think passing a sales tax is a better idea than a property tax. Isn't a sales tax less progressive overall? As Shadid implies, wouldn't a sales tax increase for the jail jeopardize both MAPS4 and a hypothetical future multi-municipality transit initiative? Why is a sales tax somehow "easier to swallow" than the property levee?

    Maybe someone can give me some context here.
    The movers and shakers, aka TPTB, prefer regressive taxes over progressive taxes.

  23. #198

    Default Re: County Jail

    My biggest question is why on earth would the new facilities cost $61M a year more to operate than what they already have? How on earth does that make any sense? Sheriff Whetsell should concentrate more on protecting the 3.5% of Oklahoma County residents that live in unincorporated areas, and less on purchasing new Camaros and running speed traps in OKC.

  24. Default Re: County Jail

    Quote Originally Posted by buffalo bill View Post
    my biggest question is why on earth would the new facilities cost $61m a year more to operate than what they already have? How on earth does that make any sense? Sheriff whetsell should concentrate more on protecting the 3.5% of oklahoma county residents that live in unincorporated areas, and less on purchasing new camaros and running speed traps in okc.
    amen

  25. #200

    Default Re: County Jail

    Oklahoma County jail vote likely will have to wait | News OK

    Prospects for a vote this year on building a new Oklahoma County jail all but died Tuesday.

    With business leaders favoring a "building last, not first" approach to criminal justice system reforms, it appeared likely the deadline for calling an election would pass without further action.

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