Still a Surge in Jail Inmates; Some Officers Experience Longer Booking Times
By Caitlin Alexander
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Department reported that just under 1,800 inmates were at David L. Moss Friday. That is still about a hundred more people than beds.The jail has 1,714 beds. The rest of the inmates sleep on "boats," which include bedding and sit closer to the ground.Some police scanner calls went out this week, where Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department said officers meant to warn each other of longer wait-times to book inmates into jail.Major Clark explained that no more than 30 inmates can be booked into jail at a time. The time it usually takes to book someone is between 15 minutes and an hour. This week, there were 30 people being booked at a time, which meant wait-times of an hour and a half to 2 hours."You've got officers that probably feel frustrated when those calls go out, because they might be towards the latter part of their shift," said Major Clark. "They might be in a situation where they have plans to do something else, special assignment." He said that means officers might exercise more discretion than normal in choosing whether or not to bring in lawbreakers who are not a threat to society or his or herself.Major Clark said the number of people booked in the jail can fluctuate between 50 and 100 people per day. The number booked depend on a variety of factors, like what is happening on the streets and in the courthouse. He said the numbers of people booked could decrease if more people called their jurisdictions and clerks to learn whether or not they can opt out of jail, like paying their fine, for example.Major Clark said the surge in inmates does not cost tax payers any additional money at this time. However, it is is possible that if costs surpass the jail's budget, tax payers could eventually be affected.
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