Oklahoma Inmates Threaten Riots Due To Dangerous Overcrowding

Source: KJRH News Channel2

It’s possibly the most dangerous jail in Oklahoma right now.

Inmates inside Okmulgee County Jail threaten to resume rioting because they’re so cooped up.

A few weeks ago, they broke sprinkler heads, flooded a pod and started a fire with electrical wires. They threatened to do it again Tuesday if the jail director didn’t call the media.

2NEWS is the only station taking you inside the jail with our camera. Reporter Liz Bryant found that by no means is it a filthy place, there’s just nowhere for inmates to sleep on the floor or in what they call “a boat.”

The solution? Director John Martin said it’s not in his hands.

Martin pleads with the judges and district attorney in his county to stop automatically locking people up and come up with an alternative solution.

He said the jail was built for 154 people, maximum capacity is 226, and right now 316 inmates live there.

“My biggest concern also is health issues. Lots of times we have people coming off the street they might have staph, boils, scabies, and we have to get them cleared medically within 48 hours. If we have any type of outbreak, it spreads much more rapidly in an overcrowded condition,” Martin said.

Martin said there’s no funding to move inmates to another jail and pay per diem.

The long term solution is a new, bigger jail, but that’s not opening for two years.