A Justice Department report called the Oklahoma County jail a chaotic and largely unsupervised den of “unconscionable” violence, abuse, and medical neglect, reports The Oklahoman. Detailed in the report are jail deaths, excessive use of force, and a “disturbing” incident in which a pregnant woman was handcuffed to a rail for 10 hours while giving birth to a premature baby. The child died at a hospital.
The year-old report was delivered to Oklahoma County officials last week. Sheriff John Whetsel said most of the problems the agency found have already been corrected. Still, U.S. Marshals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials transferred 160 federal inmates from the jail over the weekend to jails in other counties until the issues are resolved. The report details excessive inmate-on-inmate violence and use of force by jail staff, an unsanitary kitchen with birds and insects, lack of clothing and showers, fire hazards, and virtually no mental health treatment. The report cited an inadequate investigatory process to review deaths and other serious incidents.