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Bed bug issue plaguing detention center

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    McClain County, Okla (KFOR) — Lieutenant Steven McMahan confirmed to News 4 Wednesday that there is a bed bug issue within the McClain County detention center.

“We have bed bugs,” McMahan said.

The pest problem has plagued the detention center for quite some time. McMahan said he has worked there for one year and said it’s been an on-and-off thing for that entire time.

McMahan adds that they spent between $5,000 and $6,000 one year ago to fix the issue. Recently, he said they spent $12,000.

“Including a shower system and a disinfectant system machine that goes in and disinfects the cells,” he said.

One mother said her daughter is inside the detention center serving a sentence for meth trafficking. Now, she said her daughter has sores on her body from the bed bugs.

“When I come to visit her, she would be scratching all over her body, she would have sores on her body,” said Monica Hack. “She’s locked down and she can’t get away and they eat her when she’s trying to sleep.”

Summer Venegas, Hack’s daughter, has been sober for well over one year now. McMahan said the drugs wouldn’t be part of the problem.

“Would that still have anything to do with it by chance, like the itching, the scratching or anything like that?” we asked.

“No, no, I mean not in that length of time,” McMahan said.

Hack said she contacted several health departments, including the governor’s office, trying to see if the issue can be resolved.

“It’s like, in my opinion, mentally torturous and cruel and unusual punishment,” Hack said.

McMahan said they are locked up throughout the day at certain times such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, he said they do have time out of their cells to go to what McMahan called a “day room” or outside rec time.

According to Hack, she requested photos be taken of her daughter’s bites by the sheriff’s department. McMahan said those pictures were taken, but Hack said she has not received them. News 4 asked for the pictures but were denied due to privacy concerns. McMahan, added that he saw the pictures.

“I couldn’t see anything on the picture that was taken,” he said regarding the bed bug bites.

There are 67 inmates in the detention center as of Wednesday June 10. The capacity is around 58. McMahan confirmed that one other inmate has put in a medical request for the same bed bug issue.

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