Between 2009 and 2018, 215 people died in Oklahoma jails, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
In 2019, The Frontier is launching a project to track every jail death in the state. We’re calling this project Cell by Cell.
We hope to uncover more about how and why people die in Oklahoma jails. Each of the state’s 77 counties has at least one jail, and several cities have police lockups. In rural parts of the state, deaths often go unnoticed, and occasionally, unreported.
Know of an incident we missed? Email us at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction of the Oklahoma County jail was funded by a temporary penny sales tax that built the problem-riddled facility. But there was no new, permanent source of revenue to totally pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the jail after the sales tax expired.
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Kassie McClung joined The Frontier in May 2016. She reports on health, criminal justice and other state issues. Kassie holds a bachelors degree in multimedia journalism from Oklahoma State University. She likes dogs, maps and data.
She can be reached at Kassie@readfrontier.com or 918-935-1044. Follow her on Twitter @KassieMcClung.