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Review: Jail needs $259,000 in repairs
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Review: Jail needs $259,000 in repairs

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More than $250,000 worth of repairs need to be made to the Tulsa Jail's security system, according to a review that found more than 270 broken intercoms and other equipment damaged or missing.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office requested the site assessment by Black Creek Integrated Systems Corp., the company that installed the jail's security system. In a report obtained by the Tulsa World, the company lists two pages of damaged or missing equipment at the jail, which has been operated by Corrections Corporation of America since it opened in 1999.

"The overall system is functionally intact and continues to perform as it was designed and installed. There are, however, major problems with the system that are a direct result of failure to replace failed parts in a timely manner," states the report by Jay Tumlin, service manager for Black Creek, based in Alabama.

"For example, it is highly unlikely that the facility experienced the failure of 272 intercom stations at the short timeframe, which is indicative of the lack of parts support that has been provided to this vital system."

The company reviewed the jail's security system June 13-17 and provided its report this week to Sheriff Stanley Glanz. It concludes that the county would need to spend at least $259,000 on parts and labor to make the repairs or replace the missing equipment.

The report also lists problems including all but one gooseneck microphone removed from the jail pods, several nurse call buttons stuck in the on position, six closed-circuit television monitors missing, eight jail pod control stations with faulty touch screens and one pod control station computer missing.

The review also found 11 broken VCRs, six cameras that need repair, a broken motion detector and five disconnected card readers. Water had damaged equipment in several areas of the facility, the report states.

CCA's contract to operate the jail states that the company shall maintain the facility "in accordance with the maintenance system provided by the authority." It states equipment shall be in "good repair and good working order at all times" and maintained according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Ike Newton, president of Black Creek, said based on the site visit, the jail's security system has not been maintained according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Newton said the broken equipment affects employees' ability to communicate with each other and see what is happening in the jail. He said if an employee or inmate were injured at the jail and decided to sue, "one of the first things they are going to point to is the condition of the security system."

The contract requires CCA to make repairs at its expense. It states replacement parts should meet or exceed the original parts. CCA was supposed to pay for repairs using a $300,000 escrow account, the contract states.

The report cites several cases in which original equipment was replaced with equipment of lower quality, including a camera replaced with one that had no zoom capability and 15-inch computer monitors that replaced 21-inch monitors.

Chief Sheriff's Deputy George Haralson said Glanz requested the review because "we were concerned that the system had not been maintained properly over the last five years."

"We did not want to take over a facility July 1 and have any surprises," Haralson said.

Marvin Branham, a spokesman for CCA, said he had not seen Black Creek's report and that the company had not been asked to pay for repairs listed in the report.

"I know that the system's operating properly. There are some intercoms that actually have been ordered that will be installed into the facility."

Branham said CCA "has met all the requirements of the contract." He said he is unsure if the escrow account contains $300,000 because "it works as a constantly revolving drawdown" for repairs.

Haralson said the sheriff's office is not required to pay for the repairs and should not have to.

Paul Wilkening, chief deputy for the Tulsa County Commissioners, said the county has a list of 400 items that must be repaired or replaced at the jail. He said some of the items on the Black Creek list are on that list.

After repairs are made, he said the authority will review Black Creek's letter to determine what items still need repaired or replaced.

"I would suspect that we will ask CCA to pay for things that aren't working," Wilkening said.


Ziva Branstetter 581-8378

ziva.branstetter@tulsaworld.com

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