Tulsa County Jail



David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Project Owner:

Tulsa County Criminal Justice Authority

500 S. Denver, Rm 311

Tulsa, OK  74103


Schedule:  Construction   2000

Construction Cost: $70.0 Million

Perhaps BKL’s most publicized project, the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center is a 1,440-bed, direct supervision jail serving Tulsa County, Oklahoma.  The facility houses minimum, medium and maximum-security inmates.  Single or double-occupancy cells comprise 72% of the total beds for medium and maximum-security inmates; the balance of the beds is provided in dormitories for minimum-security (trustee) inmates.  Support facilities include intake, inmate programs, medical, laundry, commissary, food service, maintenance shops, and jail administration.  The medical component includes a 24-bed infirmary, as well as outpatient medical and dental treatment, and eight negative air pressure treatment rooms. The support facilities are sized and oriented to support the ultimate capacity of 3,000 inmates.

The 22 acre site was located in the oldest part of downtown Tulsa.  The master plan included work to remove existing aging housing and rebuild the utility infrastructure.  Water, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and gas mains were relocated and/or enlarged.  Included in the master plan were bike trails through the site, extensive landscaping, storm water drainage, and parking areas.  Circulation patterns were critical to making the most of a limited site.  The site was designed to hold ten additional housing pods when the need arises.

The introduction of natural light, direct and orderly circulation and simplicity of construction are key elements of the design.  Skylights, clerestories and light wells are used throughout the facility to introduce as much natural light as possible.  Another design feature includes the utilization of a “windowless cell” concept.  In this concept, housing units are surrounded by a mechanical/electrical chase and natural light requirements are met by utilizing skylights and glazing to the adjacent recreation yard.  This concept allows for access to the mechanical/electrical areas in a non-secure environment, providing for more efficient operations and maintenance.  The housing units benefit from superior natural lighting and a secure perimeter defined by the rear precast concrete cell wall.  The result is a facility, constructed almost entirely of precast concrete, that is light, open and non-oppressive.