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Health Officials Order Removal Of Kids Held At Oklahoma County Jail

Oklahoma County

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State health officials notified the Oklahoma County Detention Center on Tuesday that all juvenile inmates must be removed from the jail by Friday after a surprise inspection found numerous deficiencies at the problem-plagued jail.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health notified the jail of numerous violations in a 61-page report from the June 23 inspection, including inadequate screenings of incoming inmates, failure to conduct proper inmate counts and obscured windows on cell doors that prevented proper “sight checks.”

Jail administrator Greg Williams acknowledged in a statement that more improvements were needed, but he does not agree with all of the report’s findings.

“Decades of physical plant neglect and poor construction cannot be overcome in a few months,” Williams said.

Only one current jail inmate meets the state’s definition of a juvenile, he said, and that person will be transferred to the Oklahoma County juvenile detention facility before Friday’s deadline.

Jail operations were taken over last July by a trust, which has drawn criticism for inmate deaths, escapes, assaults and a hostage situation in which an inmate was fatally shot by police after beating and stabbing a jailer.

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