Bryan County Jail Addition Opens To Tours - - No One Gets You Closer

Bryan County Jail Addition Opens To Tours


DURANT, OK -- After years of work, a new $3 million jail addition is almost ready for inmates to move in, and the hope is it will help ease overcrowding issues.

The two jail buildings currently is use are full with a total of 122 inmates, so the addition will give some breathing room.  The new space offers a different layout from what jailers are used to.

Instead of cells, the new addition to the Bryan County Jail has bunks, offering a more open environment. "In this situation, we're going to have a room of 40 people, that could possibly get disruptive," says Golden.

Golden says that is why only less dangerous inmates will go in the two new pods that are set to house men only. There is also a new laundry space and a kitchen complete with a walk-in freezer.

"We're not only just building two big rooms, but we're actually adding to the capacity of what we've been holding in the past," says Golden.

The county will now have a total 142 beds, up 20. The auxiliary jail, which has been housing half the inmates, will close and the older 62-bed part of the jail will stay in use.

"I think it's going to make it a lot easier to supervise inmates, and it's a lot more clean and organized," says assistant jail administrator Lt. Tracy Isenberger.

Golden says he hopes to have inmates in the new section in a matter of days, but he says there are still some concerns that he is trying to address.

"Anytime that you have a door that just leads directly outside, and nowhere else, that goes from a cell, that should concern anybody," says Golden.

Golden says he would like something added over a fire exit door, and says workers will add a wire mesh to stop anyone falling from the second floor.

"We're doing all the finishing touches right now trying to get everything ready," says Isenberg.

Golden is inviting people to see the changes for themselves. "You don't really know what you're dealing with until you actually get it into use and then they'll be able to fine-tune it," says Bryan County EMS director Joe Barrett, who toured the new facility.

"I think it's a good addition here, something that we've needed for a long time," says Durant resident Dennis Marshall.

The addition has 2 holding cells but no isolation cells and will have video-screen visitation. Commissioner Monty Montgomery says it is safe because it's manned 24-7 and with cameras, and will require fewer jailers, but Golden says he may want more staff. 

Golden says the jail addition will be open to public and groups on Wednesday, and the following two weeks on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 10 am to 2pm for tours. Montgomery says an opening will be held March 28 at 4 p.m.