OKC police chief: reforms leading to fewer inmates in Oklahoma County jail

Updated: Jun 19



Fewer inmates are locked in the Oklahoma County jail on municipal charges, with a top cop attributing the decrease to reforms in policing and the court system. During fiscal 2018, the jail booked 7,513 inmates on city charges, which is down from 12,908 in fiscal 2015 and marks a 42 percent decline, according to a recent presentation by Bill Citty, police chief for Oklahoma City. “The majority of it has to do with what the county and what the city courts have done,” Citty said during a July 17 meeting of the Oklahoma City Council. “We're not even picking up people on failure to pay. If they have a warrant on failure to pay, we don't take them to jail because it's a revolving door for them. So they're working out other means of trying to increase the indigency hearings in courts, so that we bring people in and try to find alternatives for their inability to pay.” Citty's presentation did not include the number of inmates booked into the jail on state-only or state and city charges. Still, fewer arrests means fewer inmate days at the jail. The county and police consider that figure when grappling with safety and budget issues. In fiscal 2018, the jail counted 22,136 inmate days, down 54 percent from 48,045 in fiscal 2015. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. The average cost per inmate per day is $42.88. Oklahoma City's contract with the jail decreased by more than $1.2 million over the last three years, according to Citty's presentation. More reforms are on the way. The police department continues to work with the courts to identify charges that allow officers to release offenders in the field instead of taking them to jail. Several include first-time offenses, for violations such as destruction of property, larceny and marijuana possession. Read More at NewsOk.com

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