“They just don’t care about us here,” said the mother of an Oklahoma County jail inmate, her son frozen in her cell; the prison says the heat works well

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The mother of an inmate at Oklahoma County jail contacted KFOR over the weekend saying her son is freezing in his cell, saying there is no heating and was denied additional coverage.

“He said, ‘Mom, I can see my breath when I speak. It’s freezing cold here, ”a worried mother told News 4.

She said she got that call from her son inside the Oklahoma County Jail last week when temperatures hit teenage lows.

“I said, ‘You don’t have heat? “He said, ‘No we haven’t had it for a few days now,'” she said. “I said, ‘Did you ask for extra blanket?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, a few times, but they just don’t care about us here.’ “

She wants to remain anonymous, fearing that her son will face reprisals for speaking out.

She contacted News 4 after calling the prison and reportedly received no response or help for her son.

“The lady answered the phone and when she did she hung up. She didn’t ask me anything. She hung up the phone and said, ‘I don’t know who it is. I don’t want to talk to them. I don’t want to deal with any issues right now, ”she recalls.

Prison officials sent News 4 a statement on Tuesday, saying: “We have verified that the heating in the building is working properly.”

They said there are always hot and cold areas in the facility when the temperature fluctuates outside, saying the cells will always be a bit cooler since they are next to the exterior walls.

When KFOR first contacted the prison, officials said, “According to the HVAC computer monitoring system, the return air sensors in each of the prison cells are [the affected inmate’s cellblock] register 73 degrees.

Later that day, prison officials contacted them again after further investigation.

“As the exterior of the prison is made of hollow cinder blocks, some cells become colder than others. We checked the temperature in the inmate’s cell with an infrared thermometer and found it in the mid-1960s. It is about 8 degrees cooler than some of the other cells and the pod day room. . We are implementing our policy of providing extra blankets to inmates in cooler cells, including those in the corners. “

Oklahoma County Jail

Plans for a new county jail are still underway. The Oklahoma County Commissioners Board of Trustees is working to find a way to fund the nearly $ 300 million installation.

It will likely include the county’s $ 150 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, as well as the maturity of the bonds, if approved by voters.

The commissioners also discussed the possibility of asking the state legislature for $ 75 million in state ARPA funds during their meeting on Monday.

“We all know that we will have to take some money out of many different pots if we can do it without going to voters with a tax increase,” District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan told the Meeting.

While that all works out, this inmate’s mother is simply hoping her son can stay warm at the current facility for the remainder of the winter season.

“He said to me, ‘You know mom, I can’t even get out of bed. It’s so cold. My bones are aching,” she said. “You know, for me as a mom, that touches your heart. That’s how it is then, I wish I could do something “,

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