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Oklahoma County Jail faces potential fines for repeat health and safety violations

Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

The Oklahoma County Jail could face up to $350,000 in fines for repeat health and safety violations.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has filed an administrative compliance proceeding against the Oklahoma County Jail in hopes of pressuring the jail's trust and administration to address the 23 repeat violations found during an inspection in April.

The chair of the jail trust, Jim Couch, said the trust disagrees with the implication that they are neglecting the safety of inmates as they have made some improvements since taking over the jail in 2020.

The jail has 15 days to request a hearing to dispute the order.

Two weeks ago, Oklahoma County voters approved a $260 million bond package to fund a new jail. Proponents of the bond say building a new jail will alleviate these issues, but opponents say the money should have been used on programs to keep people out of jail in the first place.

Meanwhile, a homicide investigation is underway involving the death of an inmate who succumbed to his injuries on Monday after being beaten by his cellmate. It is being counted as the 11th inmate death of the year for the jail.

Hannah France is a reporter and producer for KGOU.
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