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State Inmates Not Welcome By County

Commissioners Vote Unanimously to Stop

Special to the Chronicle

To deal with e jail overcrowding, Oklahoma County commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to no longer hold extra inmates sent from the state’s prisons.

Commissioners acted after being told regular inmates sometimes are held three to a cell, in violation of standards.

“We have jail cells that actually are designed for a maximum of two people ... but in a great number of cases ... are housing three with one of the inmates being required to lie on the floor on some kind of a mattress, some kind of a ‘boat,’ “Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said.

Commissioners voted to go ahead and cancel the contract to board up to 196 felons at the jail even though the one-year deal was set to expire June 30. Commissioners also indicated the contract will not be renewed for the next fiscal year.

Commissioners acted even though the state Department of Corrections is paying $32 a day to the county for each inmate under the contract. Over the year, the total income under the contract to the county would have been close to $2.3 million.

Sheriff John Whetsel oversees the operation of the jail. He did not attend the

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