Kay County Justice Facilities Authority

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Newkirk, Oklahoma

 

The Trustees of the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority (JFA) met in regular session at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2007, in Courtroom “C” on the Third Floor of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.  Notice of the meeting was posted for public information on July 24, 2007, at the Courthouse front door, Commissioners Court, Courtroom C, and basement handicapped entrance of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.

 

Chairman Bruce Robinson called the meeting to order.  Those present were as follows:  Vice Chairman Carl Giddens; Trustees - Jim Stieber, Gene Smith, Everette Van Hoesen, Kay County Sheriff; Laile Wilson, Kay County Commissioner; Trust Attorney David Cummings; Don Jones, Jail Consultant; Christy Kennedy, Kay County Treasurer; Mary Ramey, Kay County Court Clerk, Scott Pemberton and Buddy Thomas, Kay County Sheriff’s Department; Judge Lee Stout; Sharon Rowen, Ponca City News; Charles Abbott, Blackwell Journal Tribune; Wayne White, Newkirk Herald; Tammy Reese, Kay County Clerk/Secretary.  Members that were absent:  Norris Frederick and Darrel Grossardt.  (See sign-in sheet).

 

Motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Young approving minutes from special meeting held on July 18, 2007.  Motion carried.

 

A joint meeting was held between the Kay County Commissioners and the Justice Facilities Authority to discuss with Don Garrison, Oklahoma State Department of Health Jail Inspection Division (OSDH), jail issues.

 

Kay County Commissioner Dee Schieber called the commissioners meeting to order.  All commissioners were present.

 

Both boards welcomed Don Garrison.  Commissioner Leven opened the discussion by saying they were meeting to discuss jail issues and recent escape.

 

Garrison asked what the duties of the JFA were.

 

JFA Chairman Robinson said they have been given the job to evaluate the existing jail and to help determine what to do with existing jail and the overcrowding issue.  He explained to Garrison the JFA Board has hired Don Jones as a Jail Consultant and started the process of interviewing architectural firms.  Robinson said the JFA Board was created in February.  He added we have no power, no authority, and no funding.

 

Garrison began by asking the Justice Facilities Authority if they had seen the report made by the National Institute of Corrections.  He said two inspectors spent one week in the jail and gave a good outline of the current jail.  Garrison said since that time he has been hearing a lot of talk but hasn’t seen much action from the Commissioners or the Sheriff.  He reminded the group of the Administrative Compliance Order and fine of $95,000.  He said the jail was still overcrowded and understaffed.  Garrison said he recently told his Legal Department that nothing had changed and they needed to revisit Kay County’s situation.

 

Garrison told both boards they have interviewed some good architect firms.  He stated he has worked with all of them to some degree and they are all capable people.  He said you can’t study this thing to death.  Garrison said OSDH has waited one year on the Commissioners and Sheriff to do something and added they better address this matter as soon as possible or drastic action will be taken by the OSDH.

 

The escape of the three inmates was addressed by Garrison.  Garrison said someone is not paying any attention in the jail when inmates can tear a concrete step off and then beat on a steel door and no one even realize anything is going on.  He said someone wasn’t doing their job.  He again said, some action better be taken and very shortly or drastic action will be made; this is a vital situation that has taken over one year.  That is where we are!

 

Garrison then made a suggestion to the Sheriff telling him he needed to read a book on how to be an effective Sheriff along with a guide for Jail Operations.  He said an administrator must see that the work gets done, and if not, find someone who will.  Garrison told the Sheriff he must know the policies and procedures and his employees must know them also.  He said you need to understand your problems and know how to avoid them.

 

Attorney Brent Clark said it might be helpful to know the steps involved in closing a jail.

 

Garrison explained the steps.  He said we have already been through Administrative Compliance and have violated rules and owe money.  If no progress is made and it looks as if you are not going to, I will ask the legal staff and the commissioner of health to contact the Attorney General for permission to close the facility.  Garrison said, “And today I would have the grounds to close this facility.”  Then you would need to take the inmates to another facility and it would cost the county a lot of money and you do not want this to happen.  “It’s imperative to move as soon as possible,” Garrison said.

 

Other topics discussed:  The procedure and process of hiring a Jail Administrator, renovation, hiring quality people to work in the jail.

 

The Board of Commissioners adjourned and the JFA meeting continued as follows:

 

Jail Consultant Don Jones introduced Shawn Harding, Associate Architect and Steve Davis, Architect Principal with HMN Architects, Inc.

 

There was a short recess to allow the firm to set up their power point presentation.  Reconvened at 3:35 p.m.

 

HMN’s presentation included the following:  Current space issues, projections for a 330-bed facility, renovation of existing jail, the process involved in renovating, building, determining space requirements, programming, site evaluation, project budgeting, the campaign process, and told about their staff.

 

There was another short recess at 4:20 p.m. to allow the next architect firm to set up.  Reconvened at 4:30 p.m.

 

Dan Rowe and Loren Anderson with Treanor Architect P.A. were introduced.

 

Treanor’s presentation dialogue:  Clear responsibilities (know everyone’s role), build relationships, experience, accountability (if it’s wrong, fix it), needs assessment, past trends vs. future trends, planning for growth, options and alternatives, how to achieve, prioritize the needs, funding options, community-how to get them on board, phasing, operations, approach, jail concepts, housing value, jail circulation (simple-secure-efficient), future expansion, project management, told about their company and their staff.

 

Mr. Rowe added he would participate as much as everyone would like him to and would be willing to take leadership roles.  He said you have a big task in front of you and I commend the JFA board for doing this.

 

Robinson asked for comments from Don Jones.  Jones said we will meet next Wednesday, August 1, 2007, 2:30 p.m. for a special meeting to hear from architect firm, South Build.

 

Jones suggested getting together to discuss and compare notes on the different architect firms.  He also talked about thoughts on training with the Sheriff and his staff.

 

No action was taken regarding formation of committees for the JFA.

 

No action was taken on whether or not to build a new jail or to renovate the existing facility.

 

There being no further business, motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Young to adjourn (5:20 p.m.).  Motion carried.

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Approved this _____ day of __________, 2007.

                                                                             _________________________________

                                                                            Bruce Robinson, Chairman

Attest:

________________________________________

Tammy Reese, County Clerk

County of Kay, State of Oklahoma

Secretary, Kay County Justice Facilities Authority

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