There’s new technology at a metro jail that staff said will help keep inmates alive.
The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is implementing a new product at the detention center to monitor inmates. They’re hoping new technology will help prevent inmate deaths.
Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said there hasn’t been any inmate deaths this year and they’re hoping to keep it that way.
“In 2021, we only had one in custody death and for us that’s too many. We want to make sure that does not happen within our custody,” Mendi Brandon with the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said its new heart rate monitors will help bring that number to zero. Detainees will wear the monitor on either their ankle or wrist.
“It will only be used for those inmates who are considered critical or needing of extra monitoring due to substance abuse or suicidal thoughts or ideations,” Brandon said.
Detention centers in neighboring counties like Oklahoma County are looking into new resources as well. There have been five in custody deaths at the Oklahoma County Detention Center this year.
A spokesperson for OCDC told News 9:
“We continue to look at new technology that could potentially help us identify and respond to detainees who may be in distress. For instance, we recently purchased a body scanner which will identify foreign objects, such as drugs, on or inside someone being booked into the jail. Identifying and confiscating contraband at intake keeps detainees as well as staff safe from a potential overdose or exposure.
However, we do not rely solely on technology to create a safe atmosphere. We constantly explore and implement new procedures and training to teach staff how to better identify detainees who may be in need of urgent mental, physical or emotional support.”
Back in Cleveland County, deputies are now learning how to use software on iPads to operate the new system.
“If they have any fluctuations that are showing signs of distress it alerts our staff to go and check on the individual,” Brandon said.
The sheriff’s office plans to start using the new system in the next 6 months.