Director Scott Crow talks with Lawton media via FaceTime about ODOC helping Comanche County jail with COVID-19 positive inmates.
State and county authorities unite to prevent further spread of COVID-19 inside the Comanche County Detention Center in Lawton.
This morning the Comanche County Facilities Authority (CCFA), which oversees the jail’s operations, signed an agreement with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) to house COVID-19 negative county jail inmates.
Detention center authorities requested state assistance this weekend in response to a recent outbreak among inmates and staff. “I want to make it very plain, we asked for the state’s help,” Johnny Owens, chair of the CCFA, said during the emergency meeting. “They have done everything they can to help, from loading and unloading supplies, to doing all the tests, to advising on best practices.”
Sunday, 10 ODOC staff members arrived at the detention center to assist with security and sanitation efforts. ODOC staff will remain on site for the next few weeks.
ODOC transport vans arrived at the county jail this morning to transport inmates with two consecutive negative tests. These inmates will remain in the legal custody of the Comanche County Detention Center while ODOC provides male inmates housing, board, and routine medical care at North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre. These county jail inmates will be housed in a separate unit from state prisoners. ODOC will house female county jail inmates at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud. ODOC will seek reimbursement from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
“Our Pandemic Planning Guide accounted for the potential need to quarantine a large number of inmates,” ODOC Director Scott Crow said. “Due to the agency’s success in preventing any outbreaks, we are able to share resources with our county partners.” Two prison inmates have tested positive for the virus.
Comanche County jail inmates testing positive will remain quarantined in the jail. The current agreement lasts through June 10.