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Okla. jail battles bed bug infestation, moves inmates from cells

Health inspector concluded the jail was not in compliance with state jail standards prior to infestation

By Graham Lee Brewer
The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Dozens of inmates have been moved out of three pods at the Oklahoma County jail due to a month-long bedbug infestation.

“We’ve basically taken everybody out of the areas in the meantime, and hopefully they won’t spread,” sheriff’s department spokesman Mark Opgrande said. “Basically, you seal off a certain section of the jail and say ‘nobody go in there.’”

Opgrande said the infestation was first noticed about a month ago, and a local business that contracts with the jail tried to eradicate them but was unsuccessful. On Friday, a Dallas-based business that specializes in bed bug extermination was called in to give the jail a quote.

Other pest control businesses will also give the jail quotes in the coming days, Opgrande said, and the sheriff’s office is waiting on an estimated cost.

Two of the pods were heavily populated at the time, Opgrande said, housing about 50 inmates each.

“It’s already an overcrowded jail as it is, and this doesn’t help make it better,” he said.

As of Friday, all but about 300 of the jail’s 2,890 beds were full.

In a March 7 health inspection of the jail, an inspector concluded the jail was not in compliance with state jail standards, in part due to a lack of supplies given to inmates to clean their cells.

Copyright 2016 The Oklahoman

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