Sheriff: Rogers County Jail Pay-For-Stay Program A Success - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Sheriff: Rogers County Jail Pay-For-Stay Program A Success

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The Rogers County Sheriff's Office is one of the first in Green Country to charge inmates a fee to stay in the jail. The Rogers County Sheriff's Office is one of the first in Green Country to charge inmates a fee to stay in the jail.
"It makes no sense whatsoever for good, law abiding citizens to pay for the irresponsible behavior of others," said Sheriff Scott Walton. "It makes no sense whatsoever for good, law abiding citizens to pay for the irresponsible behavior of others," said Sheriff Scott Walton.
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The Rogers County Sheriff's Office is one of the first in Green Country to charge inmates a fee to stay in the jail.

The idea came up after the jail lost funding when the county's two-thirds penny sales tax dropped back to a third-of-a-penny.

It costs $42 a day to house an inmate in Rogers County, so they charge inmates $41.60 a day to stay there. If that person is indigent, however, that fee is capped at $410.

If the person is not indigent and is headed to prison, the fees are capped at a $1,020.

The fees are assessed to the person after they've been convicted or given a deferred sentence and the daily fee only applies if the person was in jail for more than 12 hours.

"It makes no sense whatsoever for good, law abiding citizens to pay for the irresponsible behavior of others," said Sheriff Scott Walton.

When the Rogers County jail was paid off, the county's two-third cent sales tax dropped back to one-third, as promised, so the sheriff was looking for ways to off set that loss of funding without going back to taxpayers.

He knew the pay-for-stay program had worked well in Oklahoma County, so he decided to try it in Rogers County, and now that it's been in effect for a year, he' s pleased with the results.

"First year of pay-for-stay generated $72,000," Walton said. "That sounds like a lot of money, but it's a drop in the bucket as we look at a jail budget of $2.6 - 2.7 million."

The sheriff said that is actual money collected, and while it's a small percentage of the total budget, it's certainly better than nothing.

He said, just like with other court fines and even taxes, none will be collected at 100 percent. People who are in jail just because they can't pay their current court fines and fees are not charged the daily jail fee.

He said the money will go toward any number of items in the upkeep of the 14-year-old jail, like repairing the leaking roof and replacing the old air conditioners, for example.

Just like any other fine issued by the courts, if it's not paid, a warrant can be issued to get those fees recovered.

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