Stillwater News Press

July 10, 2013

Tulsa sheriff asks judge to order state to take its prisoners from county jail


Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has asked a judge to order the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to take state inmates awaiting transfers in hopes of bringing the county jail’s population below capacity.

“We’re basically looking for some direction from the court to order DOC to take their inmates, which in turn will reduce our population to a manageable number,” Undersheriff Tim Albin said.

As of Tuesday, when the sheriff’s office filed the injunction request, the county jail held 1,792 inmates — above the facility’s capacity of 1,714 inmates. Albin told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/15eAsQh ) that about 160 to 170 inmates are being held for the Department of Corrections.

Officials said there are about 1,800 inmates statewide who are in county jails awaiting transfer to prisons. DOC spokesman Jerry Massie said the backlog exists because there is no room in state prisons, which were at more than 98 percent capacity as of Tuesday.

“We don’t have any place to put them,” Massie said.

Massie said the agency is already pulling more inmates from Tulsa than it typically would and that affects other county jails.

“We have to cancel other county (pickups) and those sorts of things,” he said.