The Oklahoma Department of Corrections is in the process of pulling its inmates out of county jails, and Bryan County Sheriff Ken Golden said he is not yet sure if this is good or bad for area jails.
While Golden said he isn’t getting excited over the effect on Bryan County Jail just yet, he does worry about some of the surrounding counties.
“I know a lot of smaller county jails, smaller than us, like Pushmataha County and some of those, are gonna be struggling,” said Golden.
He said this is because some smaller counties do not have the tax base to support the jails.
“We don’t really know right now how it’s going to affect us,” said Golden.
He said county commissioners told him this will be a good thing because it has been costing the jail more to hold them per day than DOC is paying.
Golden said while this is true, the county currently does not hold people for misdemeanor crimes due to the number of inmates in the jail.
He said, with fewer DOC inmates, this might be lifted, adding to the number of county inmates in the jail for which the jail does not receive reimbursement.
Golden said they will now be counting on payment from cities for holding city inmates. He said if someone is booked through a city, that city pays $40 to house them.
If an inmate is booked through the county, the jail gets no reimbursement. Golden said they still will be getting DOC inmates and will always have that money, but the amount will not be as much as in the past.
This is because DOC does not plan to house inmates in county jails for the extended length of time that it has been.
Also, Bryan County has filed a lawsuit against the DOC to have the cost DOC pays for each inmate raised from $27 per day to $40 per day.
Golden said the bottom line is that nobody will know for sure how this will affect the jail until the current DOC money is depleted.
- Jessica Breger can be reached at (580) 924-4388 ext. 116 or on Twitter @jbreger_news