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Oklahoma County Jail Debate, Leaders Clash Over Proposed Jail Site

05 Dec 2023, Jail News, by

Oklahoma County officials grapple with the decision as leaders clash over the proposed Oklahoma County jail site’s viability.

Oklahoma County Jail Debate, Leaders Clash Over Proposed Jail Site - Inmate Lookup

City and state leaders recently collaborated to share their perspectives on a potential site for the new Oklahoma County jail with Oklahoma County officials. In a departure from the usual public commentary, notable figures engaged in the discussion about the jail’s location during a county commissioners’ meeting.

During Monday’s session, Councilwoman Nikki Nice of Ward 7 conveyed concerns to the commissioners regarding the proposed jail location along I-35 near NE 10th Street. Nice highlighted the community’s anxiety over ongoing discussions and urged the commissioners to exclude this particular site from consideration.

State Representative Jason Lowe also voiced opposition to the selected location, emphasizing the importance of community input. Lowe, not a frequent participant in such meetings, stressed the significance of the matter for his constituents.

While the county commissioners did not delve into a detailed discussion of the site on Monday, they acknowledged certain drawbacks associated with the proposed location.

Myles Davidson, the county commissioner of District 3, noted that the site was a former water treatment plant, requiring extensive soil remediation. He further pointed out that the financial implications, including approximately $50 million in additional costs for piers alone, did not align with a sensible approach.

Nice argued in favor of maintaining the current jail site for the future facility from the city’s perspective. She urged the commissioners to continue considering the existing site, emphasizing its suitability for the proposed facility.

The current Oklahoma County jail has consistently been included in the list of potential locations. However, commissioners clarified that to proceed with this option, they would need to acquire additional land surrounding the current facility to facilitate the construction of a new jail on the site.