Starting July Tulsa Sheriff Won't Accept Inmates Who Haven't Been Formally Charged
Starting July 1, 2014 the Tulsa County Sheriff is making changes to how he runs the jail. Inmates who aren't formally charged will no longer be accepted.
Right now when a city police agency in Tulsa County makes an arrest the officers bring the inmates straight to the county jail, without paying a penny. But the Sheriff Stanley Glanz feels it's time for every city to pay it's share.
"Right now I am spending over $5 million a year on city inmates which is county money. Is that lawful," Sheriff Stanley said.
Sheriff Glanz said for the past two years he's been looking into changing when to accept an inmate into his jail.
"We revisited that issue this past year and based on the attorney general opinions and some of the costs involved with keeping those inmates We decided that we will go back to the original concept of only accepting inmates from municipalities only when charges have been filled," Sheriff Glanz said.
He sees this as a way to ease the overcrowding at the jail.
"The main problem we have with inmates and all of our litigation comes is with people being booked in the jail and sitting in the jail and charges may never be filed. But still I have to deal with that person while they are in our facility," Sheriff Glanz said.
He told KTUL that housing inmates who are not formally charged causes several issues including overcrowding at the jail and possible lawsuits filed against the sheriff's office.
" I have a lawsuit now that can costs millions of dollars. Literally. I have several lawsuits pending right now," Sheriff Glanz said.
Starting July 1, 2014 cities will have to pay about $50 dollars a day to house those type of inmates. Sheriff Glanz plans to use the money to hire more staff.
"I was in the jail just yesterday talking to on of my detention officers. In the last four days he had worked 54 hours. We are short of staff I need to raise the salary in the jail. We just ha d a sales tax initiative so there's more money coming in," Sheriff Glanz said.
The sheriff said almost every agency has an operating jail except for the Tulsa Police Department.
Right now the city of Tulsa and the county are negotiating a contract that expires in the end of June. On Wednesday we tried speaking with Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, but he was unavailable.