Claremore Daily Progress

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April 22, 2014

RCSO against DOC’s plans to move state prisoners out

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

Because of actions made more than 10 years ago, most counties need extended stay DOC inmates to maintain their current jail operation.
“The director of DOC should welcome a partnership developed over the years, not shun those county officials who try to work within the system. The county jail is still the least expensive place to hold these inmates — the most expensive, by DOC’s own stats, is the private prison,” said McNair. 
This year, the Rogers County Jail is on pace to generate $600,000 from the state for housing DOC inmates. The jail is currently operating within a $2.6 million budget.
“If the DOC’s plans remain true and accurate, we’re going to go from $600,000 to maybe $100,000. If I’m not able to keep at least $200,000 to $300,000, then commissioners may have to start inserting funds to help with the operations,” said Sappington. 
“Our inmate count will drop, but that $2.6 million budget is needed whether I have 140 prisoners or 220,” said Sappington.
He said the intent to empty all DOC inmates from Rogers County Jail will not impact this fiscal year. The problem will occur next year because the county will initially receive funds for housing the DOC inmates as they are sentenced to state facilities.
Sheriffs, undersheriffs and county commissioners across Oklahoma will travel to the state capitol in Oklahoma City today to voice their concerns with plans to remove state prisoners from county jails.
“It is our feeling that an appeal to the State Senate needs to be made on the impact financially that this will have on more than half of the state’s counties’ jails,” McNair said.

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