OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A man who was recently in the Oklahoma County Jail said he left the jail full of bed bugs.
He spoke to News 4 the day after the OSDH sent prison administrators a letter prohibiting them from placing juvenile inmates.
“They’re about the size of a dime,” Michael Stange told News 4.
Stange told News 4 that he was bitten by bed bugs many times during his four days in the Oklahoma County Jail. His body is now covered in bites.
Oklahoma County Jail is losing its license to house juvenile offenders after an unannounced visit to the Oklahoma State Department of Health
“I couldn’t even get into a vehicle to be picked up. I had to walk home and take a shower at a rest stop to make sure I didn’t drag it to my friends’ house, ”said Stange.
He said his stay in prison was much different than it was a few years ago before Oklahoma County’s Criminal Justice Department, the Prison Trust, took over the operation of the prison.
“There were flies in the rice. The food in here is not edible, ”he said.
On Tuesday, after a surprise inspection, the Oklahoma State Department of Health sent prison administrator Greg Williams and members of the Trust a letter prohibiting them from accommodating juvenile inmates.
In the 60-page report of non-compliance with the OSDH, inspectors found a long list of problems, including a lack of medical and psychological exams, inmates not getting three meals a day, and emergency telephone systems and intercoms that didn’t work.
Stange experienced this himself when he was in prison.
“I noticed a gentleman here with a seizure,” said Stange. “We knocked on the doors. Waiting for the CO’s. There is no supervision. “
Video surfaces of inmates in the Oklahoma County Jail cooking and smoking in the cell
The inspection also found that inmates were forced to sleep on the floor due to overcrowding in the cells, which was listed as a “lack of repetition,” and teenagers reported seeing staff only during meals.
Prison officials released the following statement Tuesday:
Today the Oklahoma County Detention Center received a 61-page report from the Oklahoma State Department of Health detailing the results of an unannounced follow-up visit to the facility. Of greatest concern was the finding that the detention center will not maintain its juvenile offender placement certification after this Friday, July 16, 2021. The OCDC administration has begun screening and identifying the juveniles affected by this decision and has made the necessary arrangements to assist its criminal justice partners in finding suitable accommodation. At the time of this press release, only one juvenile meets the legal definition of a “child” or “juvenile” and will be transferred to the Oklahoma County Detention Center as soon as possible before the OSDH deadline.
The rest of the report will be reviewed by the OCDC administration in the coming days. “We remain committed to making all necessary repairs to the facility to improve the safety and quality of life for all who work and live within its walls,” said Greg Williams, prison administrator. “While the employees and contractors have been working diligently and for many hours on the infrastructure improvements that have already been completed, there is still a lot to do. Decades of physical plant neglect and poor construction cannot be overcome in a few months. I am proud of the work that the employees have done in such a short amount of time along with our external partners like Oklahoma County.
According to William Monday, OCDC’s chief operations officer, a review of the report will identify some deficiencies that the facility believes to be incorrect and OCDC will investigate the correct process to discuss these inaccuracies with the department. “While we recognize the many problems we face in the detention center, we want to make sure that everyone is focused on the right issues. Nobody wants this place to be in the best possible condition, it can be more than us. “
Oklahoma County Attorney David Prater also released a statement Tuesday:
“The Oklahoma Department of Health report further confirms the Trust’s inability to operate the Oklahoma County Jail safely and adequately. I again demand the dissolution of the trust and the return of the prison operations to the sheriff, where the Oklahoma Constitution says it should be. “
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“I don’t think anyone should be placed in the Oklahoma County Jail. I think we definitely need to develop better facilities and management, ”said Stange.
Prison officials have told News 4 several times that they are actively working to get rid of the bed bug problem.
They are currently working on plans to build a building behind the prison where they will heat bed bug infested items that will kill the larva.
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