Report: Oklahoma County Jail Still A Dystopian Hellhole
7:35 AM EDT on March 29, 2021
Congratulations if you had "Live-Streamed Hostage Situation" on your "What Can Go Wrong This Week at The Oklahoma County Jail" bingo card!
As you probably watched and heard, the much-maligned facility – a deplorable hell-hole that shows an honest, accurate portrayal of the real Oklahoma Standard – was (once again) in the news this weekend after prisoners took a guard hostage to protest the jail's inhumane living conditions, and then live-streamed the spectacle from their contraband phones for the world to see.
There are lots of videos floating around from the scene. Some edit out bad language, others blur faces, and a few even show blood left from a dead body. Here's a tamer one I found while searching on Twitter:
Question – Does anyone know if the Oklahoma County Jail has ever been featured on another country's version of "Locked Up Abroad?" If not, can David Holt and the OKC Chamber of Commerce PR team make that happen? Think of all the tourism dollars it could generate for our economy if people from all over the world traveled to Oklahoma City to see our infamous third-world detention center.
The hostage situation ended relatively quickly after police shot and killed the unsympathetic guy who took the guard hostage. His name is Curtis Montrell Williams. He was in the jail on gun and rape charges, and is now the fifth inmate to die in the facility in 2021.
Via The Oklahoman_:
The inmate fatally shot during a hostage situation Saturday has been identified by authorities as Curtis Montrell Williams.
Williams, 34, had been locked up since April 2019 after being charged with being in illegal possession of a gun because of past felony convictions.
Oklahoma City police shot Williams Saturday after he took a detention officer hostage on the jail's 10th floor, law enforcement officials said.
"Our officer did not sustain injury," the jail trust's chair, Tricia Everest, wrote in an email about the incident. The identity of the detention officer was not immediately released by officials.
Following the hostage situation, demonstrators went to the jail to bang pots in pans in protest of our county government's treatment of the incarcerated.
There are lots of people to blame for the Oklahoma County Jail becoming the sad laughingstock and embarrassment it is today.
I'd say most of it should fall on the backs of Oklahoma County voters, who routinely elect inept, anti-government politicians who reflect their own draconian views and values, including not giving a flying fuck about treating people on the lowest-end of the societal ladder with any sort of human dignity.
Other people, like Oklahoma County DA David Prater, blamed the much-maligned Jail Trust. It's comprised of a who's-who of members of the Oklahoma Ruling Class, who just like Oklahoma voters, don't seem to care all that much about inmates. They took over operations of the jail last year, and somehow found a way to make it run even worse.
The hostage-taking incident Saturday at the Oklahoma County jail that ended with an inmate shot dead by police was the latest in a string of deadly incidents there since management changed hands last year.
In July, the county seized control from the sheriff's office and turned it over to the newly formed Oklahoma County Jail Trust. District Attorney David Prater said Sunday that the jail's operation is worse than it's ever been.
"It's never been so understaffed. It's never been so corrupt and it's never been so dangerous," he said.
Wow. David Prater knows a lot about corruption, so those are some strong words. Here's how the jail trust responded.
In an emailed statement Sunday, Tricia Everest, chair of the Jail Trust, called the hostage situation tragic and she commended the work of law enforcement.
Everest also pointed to recent infrastructure improvements, including replacing sewer pumps, repairing heating and air units, installation of an on-demand hot water system and introduction of a facility-wide water management system.
Yep, here in Oklahoma we brag about giving our prisoners hot water, heat and air, and sewers. If you think that's nice, just wait until they tile over the dirt floors and replace the sod roof with shingles! It will be the Taj Mahal of jails!
Fortunately, we live in a state that holds its influential and powerful elites accountable for mistakes and errors that happen under their watch, so don't expect Tricia Gaylord Everest – the jail trust chair who's also a member of the all-mighty and powerful Gaylord family – to last very long, or get any other opportunities to meddle with Oklahoma government.
I'm sure that was a great job interview. I bet Stitt gets a kick out of appointing people who want to sabotage the Oklahoma government just as much as he does.
In all fairness, the jail was a shitshow before the Jail Trust inherited it and somehow made things worse. As a result, they're blaming the old sheriff:
Jail Trust boardmember Ben Brown laid blame on former Sheriff P.D. Taylor, who lost control of the jail when county commissioners voted to transfer operational control to the trust.
"The former sheriff left us in terrible shape. The building was bad anyway, but we were left in terrible shape. We're trying to dig ourselves out of a hole and my contention is we're making significant progress," Brown said.
Yep, outside of the hostage situation and the four other inmate deaths in 2021, we're making significant progress.
Anyway, I'm sure more information about the hostage situation will be released over the next few days to months, and I'm also sure none of it will result in any meaningful change or improvement at the jail.
In the meantime, I guess we'll wait around to see what gets crossed out next on the "What Can Go Wrong This Week at The Oklahoma County Jail" bingo card. I'm voting an alligator emerges from an old sewer line and eats an inmate.
Also, it will also be interesting to see if the Chamber follows my advice and turns the jail into a tourist attraction. It will be like our version of Alcatraz, only still operational and not escape-proof.
Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.
Stay in touch
Sign up for our free newsletter
More from The Lost Ogle
Shawnee Mall pulls Nazi artwork from holiday community exhibition…
Drew Stitt allegedly used OHP “Official Business” parking decal for personal use…
Moles are also telling us he tried to cut a wheel lock off his truck because he's received so many parking tickets!