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Thread: County Jail

  1. #1

    Arts District / Film Row County Jail

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    A committee recently proposed two site plans to the city council (or whatever body). One was to improve and add on to the existing downtown jail facility. The other was to build a totally new facility elsewhere and I guess abandon the jail. They recommended the former.

    This would be a pretty serious blow to the west side of downtown. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

    http://www.oklahomacounty.org/Docume...esentation.pdf

  2. #2

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    I would like to wish them well with vacating the current jail. Very few people, in my opinion, would support abandoning that building regardless of the quality of jail it is. The first jail was built waaaay back, probably in the 1920's. This existing jail is, what, maybe 20 years old, maybe 25 years old. Fat chance this gets any public support. This is Whetsel's pipe dream. He loves to spend money.

  3. Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Reading the pdf he attached, the new jail would actually be a money saver in as little as 10 years. However, the initial cost would be more than reutilizing the current one. However, it seems either route is going to be very expensive, because the downtown jail would be going through some massive changes it seems too.

  4. #4

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    They could always remodel the existing one to a juvenile facility or turn it over to D.O.C for local minimum or medium security facility. As it is many juvenile offenders end up at adolescent mental health facilites just because there are no beds available.

  5. #5

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Moving the Jail to a new site makes more sense to me. It also opens up a huge area downtown for growth of something better than a jail. Maybe jumpstart that area into a renovation. It also costs less after 6 years then renovating the old jail. Besides the old jail will probably take 6 years to complete since you cant just build, You have to worry about phasing and of course inmates being near construction. Does anyone know where this Greenfield site is actually located??? Someone mentioned this being Wetzels Pipe dream?? I really wish he would get OKC PD to go to a Metropolitan Police Department like Louiseville or Indianapolis. They are more cost effective to. But it involves change and people fear change. Especially when its better for them in the long run.

  6. #6

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Something in the back of my mind says the Greenfield site is in Choctaw.

  7. #7

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Is there any chance the current jail could be turned into housing (I mean other than for inmates)? How many apartments could you sqeeze into it?

  8. #8

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    Is there any chance the current jail could be turned into housing (I mean other than for inmates)? How many apartments could you sqeeze into it?
    I would think that you would have a difficult time making that work. I do not think that people would be real excited to try and turn that building into residential, but who knows. May have a bit of a marketing problem.

  9. #9

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtLaw View Post
    I would think that you would have a difficult time making that work. I do not think that people would be real excited to try and turn that building into residential, but who knows. May have a bit of a marketing problem.
    http://www.salemnews.com/opinion/x16...yword=topstory

    State Rep. John Keenan said he was more than happy to accept the invitation to speak at last Thursday's groundbreaking for the renovation of the old Salem Jail.

    It meant time away from Beacon Hill, and, the Salem lawmaker noted, "There's not a lot of great news coming out of there" these days.
    Indeed, despite a struggling economy, stagnant housing market and budget woes that are hitting home at both the state and local level, there are plenty of good things happening in downtown Salem. And the willingness of developers David Goldman and Dennis Kanin to invest their money in a project — gutting the interior of a 196-year-old, granite-block prison to convert it into apartments and a restaurant — which many thought for a long time was simply not feasible, is proof positive of the faith people have in the city and its historic central business district.

  10. #10

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    Is there any chance the current jail could be turned into housing (I mean other than for inmates)? How many apartments could you sqeeze into it?
    Have you ever been inside? Any demo short of TNT would be very difficult.

  11. #11

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    It would definitely be an interesting project, but I just do not see it happening. That building is very strange inside and I would think it would be very expensive to remodel. Also, it would be the furthest apartment removed from the downtown area and that may be a problem as well.

  12. #12

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    I really dislike the idea of taking the jail out of downtown. As things stand, it's closer to the legal community. Moving it would mean a lot more time wasted in cars for public defenders who need to meet with their clients. Also a big reason OCU wanted to move downtown was to be close to the jail where the students involved in the indigent defense program would be close in proximity to the proverbial action. There's also a major security issue. The farther prisoners have to travel to be brought from the jail to the courthouse, the more opportunity there will be for escape.

    The only way I'd be 100% on board with Greenfield is if the criminal courts were to move out there as well, leaving the main courthouse for civil matters only. Of course, hiring new judges/staff wouldn't be cheap, but dockets are hopelessly congested in some of the courts.

  13. #13

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    I am all for keeping the jail downtown. I have only been in the jail one time because a friend of mine was arrested for a DUI and wanted me to bail him out. I let him sit there for 30 days until his hearing where the judge told him to leave the state or go to prison. He left the state that night. That is my only dealing with the Oklahoma County jail.

  14. #14

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    I am all for keeping the jail downtown. I have only been in the jail one time because a friend of mine was arrested for a DUI and wanted me to bail him out. I let him sit there for 30 days until his hearing where the judge told him to leave the state or go to prison. He left the state that night. That is my only dealing with the Oklahoma County jail.
    He was asked to leave the state for a DUI charge? WTF? And you let your "friend" sit there for 30 days?!? There better be more to this story...

  15. #15

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    A committee recently proposed two site plans to the city council (or whatever body). One was to improve and add on to the existing downtown jail facility. The other was to build a totally new facility elsewhere and I guess abandon the jail. They recommended the former.

    This would be a pretty serious blow to the west side of downtown. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

    http://www.oklahomacounty.org/Docume...esentation.pdf
    Huge blow? Really?

  16. #16

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCPetro83 View Post
    Huge blow? Really?
    There are a lot of businesses located over there which don't do anything other than serve jail-related needs. Think of all the bail bondsmen in that area moving out. That'd be a lot of empty buildings.

  17. #17

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    A committee recently proposed two site plans to the city council (or whatever body). One was to improve and add on to the existing downtown jail facility. The other was to build a totally new facility elsewhere and I guess abandon the jail. They recommended the former.

    This would be a pretty serious blow to the west side of downtown. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

    http://www.oklahomacounty.org/Docume...esentation.pdf
    They chose the latter, not the former, at least that's how I read the pdf--meaning they chose to move the jail out of downtown.

    I'm not worried about bailbondsmen moving to another location, even if it means temporarily empty buildings. I'd rather have better businesses move in there or revitalize the area that's being held back simply because it's associated with crime. I'd be more concerned that OCU abandons their project to bring the law school downtown.

  18. #18

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    That report says it was presented back in November 2009. Did something recently occur with it (e.g., a vote)?

  19. #19

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    I guess the concern about the law school is now a moot point, unless they decide to change their minds once the economy recovers.

  20. #20

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    First we need to get Whetsel out of the county sheriff's office. Then we need to vote out the corrupt bums on the county commission. Then we need to vote down any single penny that they ask for to build a new jail...

    I really get annoyed at the county govt. I don't even enjoy finding points of contention with them like I do the city govt, which I actually like those guys a lot. The county has a long history of corruption and incompetence, and I know they would lose any kind of ballot initiative they ask for to build a new jail.

  21. #21

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by KilgoreTrout View Post
    He was asked to leave the state for a DUI charge? WTF? And you let your "friend" sit there for 30 days?!? There better be more to this story...
    It is a long story. Needless to say, the Judge saved the State of Oklahoma a lot of money and trouble.

  22. Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
    Is there any chance the current jail could be turned into housing (I mean other than for inmates)? How many apartments could you sqeeze into it?
    Betts suggested over in another thread maybe turning it into a jail themed hotel (The Slammer" or something like that) I liked the idea.

  23. Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    First we need to get Whetsel out of the county sheriff's office. Then we need to vote out the corrupt bums on the county commission. Then we need to vote down any single penny that they ask for to build a new jail...

    I really get annoyed at the county govt. I don't even enjoy finding points of contention with them like I do the city govt, which I actually like those guys a lot. The county has a long history of corruption and incompetence, and I know they would lose any kind of ballot initiative they ask for to build a new jail.
    I agree but if the tax vote fails, then the Feds will come in, take over the Jail, force the improvements to be made and property taxes would automatically increase to cover the bill. No vote or say in the matter at all. Definitely one of those damned if we do...damned if we don't situations.

    I haven't read the link in the thread yet but are they still planning on removing 500 beds to keep costs of the new jail under control? One of the main sticking points with the Feds is overcrowding and I don't see how removing 500 beds (and spending 100s of millions in the process) solves the underlying problem.

  24. #24

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    The plan under the former Chief of Police of Choctaw turned county sheriff suggests the best location for a new jail is near Choctaw?
    Awww, that's nice.

  25. #25

    Default Re: County Jail Possibly Moving Out of Downtown

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    First we need to get Whetsel out of the county sheriff's office. Then we need to vote out the corrupt bums on the county commission. Then we need to vote down any single penny that they ask for to build a new jail...

    I really get annoyed at the county govt. I don't even enjoy finding points of contention with them like I do the city govt, which I actually like those guys a lot. The county has a long history of corruption and incompetence, and I know they would lose any kind of ballot initiative they ask for to build a new jail.
    You are exactly right, and while we are at voting people out, why stop with the county people. We also need to vote out many of our city council, state senators as well as state representatives. There is corruption at every level of govt., some are better at covering their tracks than others.

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