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The Morning Brew: Oklahoma County, where the innocent languish in jail

Here comes Wednesday. And your headlines:

Oklahoma County, where the innocent languish in jail

The Oklahoman's Josh Dulaney brings us an in-depth report on the state of the Oklahoma County jail, which community leaders recognize as a failing institution.

To deepen understanding around the problem of overcrowding and the criminal justice system generally, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce hired a New York-based firm, the Vera Institute of Justice, to study the jail.

Vera found roughly 28,300 people entered the jail in 2015. The average daily jail population was 2,581. On June 1, 2015, one-third of inmates had been there six months or longer. Eighty percent were held pretrial, meaning they had not yet been convicted of a crime in their case.

In a startling summation, Vera researchers say Oklahoma County is “essentially running a maximum security correctional facility for people who are legally innocent and, potentially, largely low risk.”

Read the rest of the series.


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Last sips

The Oklahoman's Matt Patterson returned from a trip to South Africa recently. He wrote a five-part blog series on the trip. He almost didn't make it there. Check it out!

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Juliana Keeping

Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award... Read more ›