Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus calls for federal intervention at Oklahoma County Jail

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 04/19/2021, 2:19 PM
Edited: 04/19/2021, 7:20 PM

(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) Oklahoma lawmakers are holding a press conference at 1 p.m. Monday to address the “dangerous and hostile environment” they say the Oklahoma County Jail has become. 

The allegation is just one of the concerns State Representative Jason Lowe wrote about in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last week. 

“I visit the jail weekly and have experienced firsthand the horrendous conditions,” Lowe said in the letter. “Inmates are subject to mold, bed bugs, and a lack of access to medical care and basic health and hygiene needs. These are civil rights violations that require the attention of the U.S. attorney general.”

Lowe said ten inmates have died since the Oklahoma County Jail Trust seized control of the jail from the sheriff’s office last July. 

Read the letter here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DY2ZuTtgKYfquJR0wqJDlE2BEPB3hI1d/view 

State Representative Ajay Pittman, State Representative Mauree Turner, and Oklahoma Senator George Young will also be at Monday’s conference. 

UPDATE: In response to VNN's request for comment, we received this statement from Tricia L. Everest, OK County Criminal Justice Authority Chair:

“I applaud the selection of Attorney General Garland and grateful that he is returning to the State on the anniversary of the Bombing especially as he played a role in the prosecution. I invite the caucus and any legislators to come tour, see the changes and plans, and discuss their concerns and comments. We will always cooperate with any oversight."   


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