Oklahoma County Jail kitchen forced to close as sewer line collapses
By Chelsea Washington
Two hot meals a day. That's the requirement from Oklahoma code for jail inmates. But the Oklahoma County Jail was unable to follow that for several weeks."There were about twelve of them that were handcuffed together and they were cheering our guys," State Director Sam Porter said. The jail kitchen which is located in the basement is where hot meals are usually prepared, but Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says it became unusable due to a collapsed sewer line in middle of June."This truly could be classified as a disaster when a kitchen to a jail goes out that has 2,500 hundred inmates," Sheriff Whetsel said. For the next few months operations have moved to the jail garage.The Baptist team provided three-commercial skillets and the jail continues to provide hot food like chicken and beef to the inmates."It's a humanitarian thing, I mean, they need to be treated with dignity. As a Christian organization, we want to do the best to help in any way we can," Porter said. Relief workers will have to pack up their equipment at the end of this month, but this gave Sheriff Whetsel time to buy skillets from a military supplier, since the jail's kitchen won't be up and running again until the fall."We are actually contracting with a company for about 1.5 million for what will actually be a short term fix and that is establishing a vacuum sewer system for the basement only, Sheriff Whetsel said.
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