Bryan County conducts tours, asks for public input on new jail addition

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- Sheriff Ken Golden gave the first few tours of the new jail Tuesday morning.

They're the first of six they plan to give to get citizen input.

"One of the things we're looking at is public's opinion on man-power and support, and stuff like that," Golden said.

There are still a few kinks they're working out, Golden said.

"That's why we're having this today and the rest of this month, so we can get opinions on stuff," he said.

One area of debate is a door in one of the cell bays that leads directly outside. The engineer originally designed the door as a fire escape, Golden said.

The Sheriff's office and county commissioners are thinking of ways to fix it, to avoid a possible prison break.

"Any time you have a door that just leads directly outside, and nowhere else, that goes from a cell, that should concern anybody," Golden said.

The new jail addition includes two "open-bay" cells, which hold 40 inmates each. It will increase the jail's overall capacity to 140 beds - 20 more than the old jail.

Lt. Tracy Isenberg, assistant jail administrator, said they're re-arranging jailors' schedules to accommodate the increase in prisoners.

"We're hoping to be able to put on a few more jailors to cover the fact that we're moving from indirect supervision to direct supervision with the open bays," she said.

They have nine to 10 guards on each shift right now, she said. They're hoping to add three more guards per shift, especially with the open-bay style cell.

"It's a lot different walking into a room and having the doors locked - and the inmates are on the other side of the door - versus walking into a room and having everybody out walking around."

Tours will continue every Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 10 a.m for the next three weeks.

County commissioners set the grand opening for March 28th.

They're still working out a time line on moving in the inmates.

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