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Tulsa juvenile detention officer charged with human trafficking

Jonathan Hines
Posted at 3:16 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 18:28:28-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa County employee is accused of bribing a minor for sexual favors at the juvenile jail (Family Center for Juvenile Justice, or FCJJ).

Criminal justice advocates are speaking out and calling this one example of a rotted culture at the facility.

Tulsa County Juvenile Detention Officer Jonathan Hines is charged with human trafficking, possessing a cell phone in jail, and destroying evidence.

According to the affidavit, Hines acted like the toilet in the victim’s cell needed repairing, shoved a shoe in the door, and sexually assaulted the inmate. The reports detail more than one occasion.

Investigators were told Hines would get weed, snacks, and other contraband for inmates in exchange for sex and that the victim agreed to “take one for the team.”

Investigators seized Hines' cell phone. The affidavit states Hines fidgeted with the phone before handing it over and that a forensic extraction later revealed a text thread deleted at the same time frame he met with investigators.

Hines denied the allegations in the documents. In the report, he stated he is “too nice” and believes the inmates were mad at him for making them follow the rules.

Oklahoma Appleseed, a local criminal justice non-profit organization, issued a lengthy statement demanding change to a pervasive problem.

It read in part, “These allegations are not the result of one ‘bad apple,’ but rather a culture of negligence and incompetence that has festered for too long in the FCJJ.”

The organization also demanded an investigation by Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond and asked Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler to recuse himself from this case.

2 News contacted the Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau, which oversees the facility, the Oklahoma AG’s office, and Oklahoma Appleseed but did not hear back. However, a statement from Oklahoma Appleseed is available here.

Tulsa County said in a statement to 2 News they do not manage or have direct oversight of the operations at the Family Center for Juvenile Justice, but take the allegations seriously.

The Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile released this statement to 2 News.

Recently, a series of incidents have come to light that have occurred in the detention facility of the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice. Any crime against a child is an abomination, more so when it is committed by those entrusted with the responsibility to care for some of our most vulnerable youth. FCJJ is unwavering in its commitment to providing a secure environment for the juveniles in our care. FCJJ is licensed by the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA.) For the last year, OJA has been in our facility weekly, engaged with our detainees, employees, and staff. They have unlimited access to the FCJJ, including access to our staff, detainees, and security cameras. FCJJ’s policies encourage staff and detainees to immediately report any potential misconduct, regardless of who the alleged perpetrator might be. As required by our licensing, FCJJ has reported each incident that has come to our attention to both OJA and law enforcement. In each incident, the offending employee was immediately terminated. The most recent incident was promptly referred to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, and their investigation resulted in an arrest and felony charges for a former employee. FCJJ will continue to work closely with OJA, law enforcement, and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office to both protect the young people entrusted to our care as well as holding accountable those who violate that trust.

Drummond’s office did not comment on the corruption allegations but sent us this statement regarding the Hines case:

“The Attorney General’s office has been in contact with local law enforcement, and the alleged perpetrator of these crimes has been charged by the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office. Attorney General Drummond is confident the case will be handled appropriately to ensure justice for the victim.”

Kunzweiler’s office did not comment on the Hines case but sent this statement regarding the corruption allegations:

“The concerns raised need to go through the proper channels of the law enforcement investigation. I encourage Oklahoma Appleseed to report any information relevant to a law enforcement investigation to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.”

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