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Tulsa County Jail To Stop Accepting Some Prisoners Due To Overcrowding

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The David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center is budgeted to support about 1,700 inmates on a daily basis. The David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center is budgeted to support about 1,700 inmates on a daily basis.
"When you start getting to 18-, 19-, 2,000 people, that's a significant strain on the resources at the jail, and that's where we are today," said Major Shannon Clark. "When you start getting to 18-, 19-, 2,000 people, that's a significant strain on the resources at the jail, and that's where we are today," said Major Shannon Clark.
TPD Officer Jillian Roberson said the change will have the biggest impact for those who are wanted for lesser offenses, like parking tickets, jaywalking or pet violations. TPD Officer Jillian Roberson said the change will have the biggest impact for those who are wanted for lesser offenses, like parking tickets, jaywalking or pet violations.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The Tulsa County jail is in crisis mode, so overpopulated that it's stopped taking some offenders.

The David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center is budgeted to support about 1,700 inmates on a daily basis. But since June, Major Shannon Clark, said there's been a spike in population that's breaking the jail's bottom line.

"When you start getting to 18-, 19-, 2,000 people, that's a significant strain on the resources at the jail, and that's where we are today," said Major Shannon Clark.

Right now, the jail is over capacity, with 700 more inmates than this time two years ago. Clark said they have the space, but not what they need to maintain the growing numbers.

 "We don't have beds, we don't have blankets, we don't have cots, we don't have the food service, we don't have the medical service," Clark said.

To help control the population, the jail is not taking in anyone who's been arrested by the Tulsa Police Department on municipal charges.

TPD Officer Jillian Roberson said the change will have the biggest impact for those who are wanted for lesser offenses, like parking tickets, jaywalking or pet violations.

"We're not gonna be able to take them to jail on that, we're going to have to release them," Roberson said.

Still, Roberson said the restriction is in no way a "Get out of jail free" card for criminals.

"We're still going to be out there doing our job, getting criminals off the street," Roberson said.

She said it's all a matter of paperwork.

Many of the city ordinances were taken from state law, so Clark said any dangerous offender will still be booked into jail.

"If it is a significant public safety crime, or have any danger to the community, they can still be incarcerated at a state level," Clark said.

The jail said the restrictions are temporary, but couldn't say how long it would take to alleviate the overcrowding issue.

The jail has asked the Department of Corrections to come get its inmates. It's also contacted every county and state that has someone there awaiting extradition.

That alone accounts for about 250 inmates.

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