Pittman Pleased With Removal Of Oklahoma County Northeast Jail Location


OKLAHOMA CITY – Vice Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus and Representative Ajay Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, strongly opposed the proposal to build a new jail at the NE 23rd and Coltrane site in Oklahoma City. She is pleased that the Oklahoma County Commissioners voted on Wednesday to remove the Northeast location from the proposed list.

According to Rep. Pittman, her dedication and commitment to service has been expressed by her deep concern about the potential negative impact raised by the continuous site lists. Rep. Pittman believes the locations impede the economic development progress for minority communities, the surrounding neighborhoods, in addition to those locations that have historically faced neglect from local government funding.

The proposed jail sites in NE Oklahoma City raised significant concerns about its proximity to schools, neighborhoods, and areas that have already suffered from the consequences of systemic neglect. Rep. Pittman firmly believes that black and brown communities, which are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, should not bear the burden of the new jail location. She believes these communities deserve better and should not have to endure further harm.

“I am happy that the county jail will not be in the Northeast location in House District 99, that was adjacent to the Forest Park community in House District 97,” said Rep. Pittman. “I am sure that this is a hard task for the county commissioners, but it is also their job to listen to the people they represent.”

From the beginning, Rep. Pittman has been against the consideration of this site and the previous site that was proposed on NE 10th and I-35.

 “I was so pleased to see the overwhelming participation from our community leaders, and constituents who took the time from their busy schedules to attend the Oklahoma County Commissioners meeting,” said Rep. Pittman. “We need to participate and advocate for the protection of all of our issues, projects, and districts at the Oklahoma State Capitol just like we have unified in opposition to all the NE proposed county jail locations.” 

Rep. Pittman is dedicated to advocating for the constituents of House District 99 and all Oklahomans. One of her priorities as a legislator is criminal justice reform, specifically re-entry services. This session, Rep. Pittman has authored HB2517 which seeks to allow the Department of Corrections the ability to establish the Oklahoma Prisoner Reentry Pilot Program. The reentry pilot program will allow an additional layer of services for Oklahoma inmates to improve their reentry success rates, lower the state’s national rank, and prevent recidivism rates from increasing. Some of the services would include assistance with housing, professional development, mental health services, and more. She is pleased that this bill has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is ready to be heard by the State Senate.

The Oklahoma County Commissioners meeting on February 21 at 9:00 a.m. was live-streamed on the Oklahoma County YouTube page. Rep. Pittman encourages concerned individuals to review the meeting and continue to voice their concerns to the Commissioners.


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