Lawmaker Calls For Investigation At Muskogee’s Juvenile Detention Center
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - A state lawmaker is waiting for DHS officials to complete an investigation at Muskogee's Juvenile Detention Center.
The Office of Juvenile Affairs temporarily suspended its license after an inmate committed suicide.
The lawmaker who called for the investigation was contacted by the boy’s family, looking for answers.
The lot at the Muskogee County Juvenile Detention Center is empty after its license was suspended by the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs.
A spokeswoman for OJA said the agency contacted DHS after an inmate committed suicide in December.
State Representative Avery Frix called for the investigation.
"I can't even imagine what the family is going through,” he said.
Frix said the parents of the boy who committed suicide in the detention center contacted him.
“The family reached out to me because they had some concerns that maybe there was a lack of information transferred due to some laws that prohibited that. So, if that's the case I think that we need to know that from that investigation so that the legislature can pass the necessary laws for law enforcement to do their job easier," he said.
As a newly elected state representative for Muskogee, Frix wants to make sure there's proper oversight of the investigation and the detention centers across the state.
"Anytime I think there's a loss of life under the state's care, particularly with a juvenile, I think it's the obligation of our state legislature to find out exactly what happened," he said.
DHS couldn't comment on the details of its investigation.
A spokeswoman for the agency said any actions taken would be made public when the investigation is completed.
Frix said, "I think that this investigation, I hope, will reap some answers to these questions and determine what the best action is going forward for the legislature to run safe and effective facilities here in Muskogee County and the State of Oklahoma."
The OJA said it "contracts with Muskogee County to provide detention center beds for youth in Oklahoma," and "the detention centers are responsible for staffing the facility and the day to day operations."