Oklahoma Now Leads Nation In Incarceration Rate Of Men & Women
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Prison Policy Initiative says Oklahoma now has the highest incarceration rate for both women and men.
This is the first time Oklahoma has led in both sexes. With the high numbers come security concerns.
The Rogers County Jail is just one place across the state feeling the pinch.
“The last thing that anybody that’s responsible for a jail wants to hear is an inmate got hurt or killed in the jail,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.
Sheriff Walton says security is a problem at the Rogers County Jail.
“If you look at the layout, and I’m not scared to talk about this and show the cards because that’s the only way we’re going to fix it,” said Walton. “I want people to know that it is a dangerous facility.”
The numbers are hovering around the worst he’s seen. Walton says the building has room for about 30 more beds at a cost of $150,000, and that’s it.
“It’s not a comfortable situation at all,” he said. “What can we do? It’s easy to find the problem and more difficult to find the answers to that.”
“There’s people not in cells. It’s like general population. There’s way over-crowding, people on boats, there’s not enough bed space for them,” said Samuel Rackleff, an inmate in the jail. “It’s overwhelming. I mean, you don’t have any space to walk around. You’re basically stuck on your bed.”
“We will adapt, overcome, and find a way,” said Walton. “We’re going to put bad guys in jail.”