, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

June 23, 2013

County jails feel pinch of overcrowding

— TULSA (AP) — County jail officials in northeastern Oklahoma say they are dealing with the same staffing and crowding issues as the state prison system, which has reported prisons at 99 percent capacity.

Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz said last month that he would ask a judge to order the Department of Corrections to pick up the 260 state inmates in the county’s custody.

That number — at the Tulsa Jail or other county jails that Tulsa County pays to house inmates — had dropped to 164 state inmates as of Friday. Tulsa County pays several less-populated jails to keep inmates waiting to be transferred to the state system for $27 per inmate per day, which is the state rate.

“Some of them can actually make money at that rate,” Undersheriff Tim Albin told the Tulsa World.

The Rogers County Jail has space for 250 inmates, but that doesn’t mean it has enough beds, blankets or other necessities, Undersheriff John Sappington said.

“Whenever we hit 230 (inmates) during a warrant sweep last year, we were filled to the gills,” he said. “We also don’t have the staff to house 250 inmates. We’ve lost (staff) due to them walking back and seeing all the inmates and saying, ‘This isn’t for me.’”

Jail officials and sheriffs in Creek, Muskogee, Osage, Washington, Pawnee and Okmulgee counties also report jail crowding — in part because they’re also holding state inmates.

The backup of DOC-ready inmates is a daily battle, Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said. “They are saving lots of money off the backs of counties, and there is nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Jail superintendent Joe Hughart said the Muskogee County facility is usually over its 282-inmate capacity. To catch the overflow, the county pays Craig County to house some inmates in its jail.

As of Friday, the Muskogee County Jail had 287 inmates, including 48 DOC prisoners.

Inmates being held for the DOC also are contributing to Rogers County’s crowding issues. The county has about 50 state inmates.

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.