Oklahoma prison boss clearing county jails

Ponca City Now - April 6, 2014 11:19 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – After just a few months on the job, the new director of Oklahoma’s prison system is pushing more inmates into vacant beds at work centers and halfway houses.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton has nearly tripled the intake rate of prisoners into state facilities as he looks to tighten the agency’s budget. He’s starting with a backlog of more than 1,700 offenders in county jails awaiting transfer to DOC custody.

But while some counties are glad see the inmates go to ease overcrowding, many sheriffs will lose a consistent revenue stream used to pay for jail operations. The state currently reimburses counties $27 per day for DOC inmates they hold.

In Payne County, for instance, that amounts to more than $1,000 a day for food and medical care.

 

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