How did we get here?
Long-term overcrowding and dangerous living conditions prompted the attention of the US Department of Justice for civil rights violations. The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber assembled a Criminal Justice Task Force that brought in experts from the Vera Institute of Justice to study the situation and provide recommendations for improvement. These programs have reduced the jail population dramatically, from averaging 2700 to below 1500.
Now, the single largest barrier to continuing this work and eliminating the inhumane, dangerous living conditions is now down to simply the jail building itself. A new building is expected to save an estimated $5.2 million per year in staffing and operational costs, allowing the county to better maintain and operate the facility.
Can I vote in this election?
This is a countywide election. If you live in Oklahoma County, no matter what city or jurisdiction, you can vote.
Where will the new jail be located?
The exact site location is still to be determined. It will be located within 10 minutes of downtown in a place that will not impact its operation negatively from a logistical/transportation point of view. The citizens oversight committee will help determine the final site.
I’m not yet registered to vote. When would I need to register to vote in this election?
Per state law you need to register 25 days prior to the election. To vote on June 28, you need to be registered by June 3.
How can I register?
You can use the Oklahoma Voter Portal at https://okvoterportal.okelections.us/Home/RegWizard to generate a form you need to sign and take or mail to the Oklahoma County Election Board, 4201 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City OK 73105-5210, hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., phone 405-713-1515.
Why won’t the same thing happen with this jail as it did with the old one?
Unlike the old building, this new jail will be designed by nationally-recognized architects with extensive jail design experience. This new facility will meet the needs of our community with multiple levels of security rather than a 100% maximum security jail that isn’t necessary and is inefficient to staff and maintain, not to mention dangerous.
The new facility will also be designed to meet American Correctional Association standards and will focus its design on better intake procedures and opportunities for diversion for those who would benefit from mental health and/or addiction treatment. This investment will work in concert with MAPS 4 investments in these areas and will keep our community safer.
Our community also has a proven model of building capital projects successfully we will replicate with this new jail. The citizens oversight committee, just like the ones used for MAPS, will be used to make sure the design and construction of the facility is done right.
What's the actual language on the ballot? Can I see a sample ballot?
You can see a sample ballot here as well as through the OK voter portal.