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Oklahoma County Jail

201 N Shartel Ave
Oklahoma City, OK

Interview with Luis, Kelly, Cheryl, Tina, Shaylee, Todd, Anne and Robyn

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Luis: I was in jail for 28 days before I went to court and once in court I was given time served.
Kelly: 1 day
Cheryl: 1 year
Tina: Not sure just yet
Shaylee: 5years, no probation or parole
Todd: N/A
Anne: 10 years and 12 weekends in jail
Robyn: I did not receive a sentence.

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Luis: Yes I did spend time in a holding cell both before and after sentencing. It was hot crowded and smelled like urine. Oh and after court since we had to spend so much time in the holding cell we missed dinner and had to go hungry that night.
Kelly: yes. they forgot about us and there were 8 of us in there for 9 or 10 hours
Cheryl: Yeah, I was in there for awhile, it stank and there was quite a few of us in there.
Tina: No spent time in holding cell before being taken up to the medical floor cell area
Shaylee: It was a releaf to know my outcome, however it was awful waiting for that moment.
Todd: no
Anne: Yes it was cold as hell you can see your breath its so cold. They dont allow blankets in holding if they even have any when your put in cell your lucky.
Robyn: I spent 22 hours in three different holding cells. It was crowded, cold, they would not provide toilet paper for the one toilet in there and then only one at a time. This was for 10 to somewhere close to 20 women at some times. They would not provide blankets or turn up the heat. We were absolutely miserable.

Life On the Inside
On any given day, you could find upwards of 2,700 inmates incarcerated at the 268,000 square foot Oklahoma County Jail. This makes it the largest detention center in the state. One of the ways that order is maintained at this site is through an around-the-clock video surveillance system. Not only does this cover all the open general population areas of the jail but there are intercoms in each one of the cells. This leads to a rapid response for any time of emergency situation.

There are seven housing units at the Oklahoma County Jail that have their own correctional officer staff. Each of these units house inmates based on their intake classification. The goal is to keep the violent offenders separated from the non-violent offenders. There are also several isolation areas where trouble makers can be sent to cool down.

In each living section, there is a TV behind a glass enclosed box, steel tables to play cards at or socialize and the cells. If requested, an inmate can make a visit to the Chaplainís office once a week for spiritual guidance. Inmates are also allowed to buy personal items and snack foods from the weekly commissary delivery.

Good Behavior Policy
In the Oklahoma County Jail, an inmate who has proven themselves to be a model prisoner can receive up to four days reduction for every 30 days served. For inmates in a hurry to get out of the jail, this matters a lot. It can only be achieved through staying out of conflict with other inmates and the guards.

Visit and Telephone Policy
Inmates are granted visitation twice a week provided they have stayed in accordance with the rules of the jail. Just because a visit is schedule and the visitor shows up doesn't mean the inmate will be allowed to have the session, especially if they have been put into isolation. Visitors have to present a photo ID and submit to a warrant check before being allowed into the jail for a visit.

Inmates can make collect calls costing $2 per connection during the day on the phones located in each housing unit. The availability of the phones is first come, first served for the inmates. Additionally, they can purchase calling cards from the commissary.


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