Stillwater News Press

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May 13, 2014

Payne County Sheriff ponders options to replace DOC prisoners

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association didn’t get the answers it wanted or many answers at all during a recent meeting with Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton, Payne County Sheriff R.B. Hauf said Monday.

Hauf told the Payne County Budget Board Patton isn’t concerned about the DOC’s decision to pull state prisoners from county jails and its impact on county sheriff’s office revenues.

“Patton said the counties are not his responsibility or concern,” Hauf said.

The county sheriff said he is exploring contracts to house federal or out-of-state inmates in the Payne County Jail, which will lose $420,000 in revenue when all state inmates are removed from the county jail.

The state prison system paid $17 million to counties to house state prisoners last year, Hauf said, adding Patton told the association contingent he didn’t have money to continue to pay the counties.

Payne County billed DOC for an average of $31,000 a month last year.

Prisoners will now be moved out as soon as their 10 day appeal time expires.

Hauf said the sheriffs were told prisoners are being housed in closets, dayrooms or wherever else they can put them once they are in custody of the state prison system.

The prison in Lexington does intake and assessment for state prisoners. It has increased its maximum intake from 32 to 100 per day and cut its assessment time from 30 days to 10, Hauf said.

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