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Chicken-Fried News: Itchy inmates

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Jail is not a particularly nice place to be. The food’s not good. Sometimes people get stabbed. Sometimes they have to poop where other inmates might see them.

But the Oklahoma County jail, a historically bad place to be locked up, has upped its game with a monthlong bedbug infestation.

Inmates were shuffled out of three pods housing about 50 and into the rest of the already overcrowded jail while the sheriff’s department tries to clear out the infestation. The pods will remain quarantined until the bedbugs are eradicated.

One local business already tried and failed to kill off the itchy pests. Now others are bidding to come in and do the job.

The jail failed a March 7 health inspection due to a lack of cleaning supplies for inmates. There also are faulty doors and locks in the facility, which contributed to inmate assaults. And a budget shortfall means fewer jailers to watch inmates, making it more dangerous for everyone.

Yes, it’s jail, and it’s not supposed to awesome. But the substandard conditions could end up costing taxpayers more in lawsuits than we would spend on a new, higher capacity, safer-for-everyone facility.

Print headline: Itchy inmates

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