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Jail Trust Responds to Department of Health Filing

Mark Opgrande

Jul 6, 2022

Jail Trust Responds to Department of Health Filing

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 6, 2022) – Jim Couch, chair of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, also known as the Jail Trust, released the following statement after the Oklahoma State Department of Health filed an administrative compliance order regarding the Oklahoma County Detention Center. “We disagree with any implication that we are not mindful of the health and safety of the detainees,” Couch said. “Since assuming control of the jail two years ago, we have instituted numerous reforms including obtaining a food service vendor accredited by the American Corrections Association, getting the fire safety system green-tagged for the first time in years, renovating the plumbing system so the entire building can get hot water in the showers, renovating the HVAC system so the entire building can get fresh air, implementing a significant Covid response, renovating more than 400 cells, nearly eliminating triple celling, increasing out-ofcell time for the detainees, and many other reforms.” “We have also made concerted efforts to increase our staffing, and as of today we stand at 316 employees,” he said. “We need even more good people, and we will continue to develop our workforce through posting on more than 60 websites a week, attending job fairs, working with local pastors, recruiting at colleges and other education facilities, providing a career ladder and offering two pay raises in the first year for detention officers. “The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority remains dedicated to providing a clean, safe facility for our staff and for our detainees, and to making improvements every day,” Couch said.

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