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Oklahoma: More on Sheriff taking back CCA jail.
Sheriff gets keys to the jail
By SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz takes control of the Tulsa Jail, years after he worked to have it built.
Tulsa County sheriff's officials made history overnight as the privately operated David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center returned to public hands.
About 40 deputies and more than 55 volunteers came out to support Sheriff Stanley Glanz's takeover of the Tulsa Jail operation. The sheriff's team arrived by bus at the jail around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
They entered the ground-floor training rooms, one of which was cluttered with boxes of new khaki jail uniforms, and quickly broke into teams of three to conduct face-to-face inmate counts, confirmed by jail mug shots, around 8 p.m. All 1,301 inmates were accounted for, officials said.
Officials from Corrections Corporation of America, which has operated the lockup for the past six years, conducted another count at 11 p.m. before turning over the keys at midnight.
The inmates had been locked in their cells for two days in preparation for the change and looked forward to the lockdown ending with breakfast at 6 a.m. Friday, sheriff's officials said.
Prior to the head counts, Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune greeted the sheriff's team and employees of the new medical provider, Correctional Healthcare Management of Englewood, Colo., at a briefing at the sheriff's headquarters. Chief Deputy Tim Albin thanked the mayor for his support, saying he had carried the water in returning the jail to the sheriff.
"I just wanted to be here," LaFortune said. "This is a historic day for Tulsa. It's a culmination of a lot of hard work to return the jail to the sheriff."
Although Glanz led the push for the county to build a new jail, its operation was taken away from him as soon as the facility was opened in August 1999. The Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority contracted with the Tennessee-based CCA to operate the jail, funded by a county sales tax approved by voters in 1995.
With the Sheriff's Office no longer running jail operations, as it historically had done, more than 200 of Glanz's employees became CCA employees.
To handle the added workload when the jail's operation was returned to him this year, Glanz took applications from CCA employees interested in staying on.
Reserve deputies, who are unpaid volunteers, also are being used.
"I'm here to support the sheriff," said Reserve Deputy Ron Ogan. "The jail is going to be a big part of the Sheriff's Office, and this frees up the deputies for things that are more important for them."
The county's Computer Division stationed about 10 employees at the jail and county annex, which houses the computer network headquarters, to make sure the transition went smoothly.
Glanz said Tulsa police and other law enforcement officials had been briefed about changes in the jail's pre-booking area. Law enforcement will now be responsible for collecting an inmate's personal property.
Tulsa County Commissioner Bob Dick, who is also the jail board chairman, emerged from a meeting with CCA officials in good spirits around 3 p.m. Thursday.
He said the county probably would reconcile its last payment to CCA by the end of July and that the amount would be reduced by the cost of all repairs and equipment replacements that are deemed the private operator's responsibility.
Dick said he wasn't sure whether the more than $250,000 estimate to repair a security system is correct.
"That needs a lot of analysis," he said.
The front lobby of the jail is typically clean, but its appearance has changed in the past month or so. The floor mats became stained and littered, and the floors needed to be swept and mopped.
"We plan to get very aggressive about sanitation," Albin said, noting that he will focus on the "three S's:" safety, security and sanitation.
While the jail was under CCA's control, inmates have had their share of complaints about conditions there.
Greg Shaffer, 31, who was released from jail late Thursday after an eight-day stay on speeding and driver's license-related allegations, said he had also been in the Tulsa Jail when it was occupied by the Sheriff's Office in the past.
"I'm so glad Tulsa County's taking over" the jail again, he said. "The sheriff ran it good -- way better."
Unlike the official word that the inmates had been locked down for two days prior to the transition, Shaffer said they had been locked in their cells for four days without showers.
A sheriff's team member said two inmates claimed to have been locked in their cell for four days because no one could open the cell door.
One man who was released from jail Thursday claimed that he had been issued only one jumpsuit for his entire two-month stay and that he went without shoes for a month. He said the washer in the housing pod was broken and that inmates were hand-washing their uniforms in their sinks. He did not wish to be identified.
The county Criminal Justice Authority -- or jail board -- awarded the jail contract to the sheriff in a 4-3 vote March 18. The authority decided to seek new proposals for running the jail after it struggled with a $2.9 million deficit.
In addition to the sheriff, CCA, the GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut) of Boca Raton, Fla., and Correctional Services Corp. of Sarasota, Fla., placed bids for the jail's operation. The sheriff's $19.6 million bid was the second lowest. The GEO Group's bid was slightly less, at $19.5 million. CCA had the highest bid, $21.4 million, followed by Correctional Services Corp's bid of $20.2 million.

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