Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Newkirk, Oklahoma 


The Board of County Commissioners of Kay County, Oklahoma, met in special session at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2007, in Courtroom C located on the Third Floor of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma. Notice of the meeting was posted for public information on July 23, 2007, at the Courthouse front door, Commissioners Court, Courtroom C, and basement handicapped entrance of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.


Chairman Schieber called the meeting to order. Those present were as follows: Vice-Chairman Laile Wilson; Wayne Leven, Member; Tammy Reese, County Clerk/Secretary (see sign-in sheet).


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


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


Garrison began by asking the Justice Facilities Authority if they had seen the report made by the National Institute of Corrections. He said two guys spent one week in the jail and gave a good report of the current jail. Garrison said since that time he has been hearing a lot of talk but hasnt seen much action from the Commissioners and 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 Countys 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 cant study this thing to death. Garrison said OSDH has waited for 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 was going on. He said someone wasnt 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 like you are not going to, I will ask the legal staff and the commissioner of health to contact the Attorney General 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. Its 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.


Motion was made by Leven and seconded by Wilson to adjourn (3:30 p.m.). Motion carried: Schieber, aye; Leven, aye; Wilson, aye.






















Approved this _____day of ______, 2007.