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Oklahoma County Jail Trust Votes To Return Portion Of CARES Act Funding

The Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority meets on November 2, 2020.

The Oklahoma County Jail Trust voted Monday to send back more than half of the $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds allocated to its budget earlier this year. The move comes after months of protests against the relief funds being transferred to the jail.

The trust voted to keep about $15 million to spend on COVID-19 testing, jail repairs and improvements, protective gear and other supplies.

The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners approved a controversial decision to send most of the county’s CARES Act money to the county jail trust in August.

The board said the money could be spent to make the jail safer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move has been heavily criticized by some county residents who said most of the money should have been used to help residents negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The trust approved the decision to send most of the money back with six members voting for the transfer and two members abstaining.


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Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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