Tulsa And Tulsa County Reach Jail Agreement

Tuesday, May 19th 2009, 10:21 am
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- There are new developments in a dispute over the Tulsa County jail. The city and county reached a compromise in a new, five year contract that will determine how much the city pays to keep inmates in the county run lockup.

The city started out arguing it should not have to pay anything. The county argued the city should pay several million dollars a year.

After months of discussion and a lawsuit over who pays for what at the jail, the city and the county made a deal that gives both sides some of what they wanted.

5/18/2009 Related story: City Of Tulsa To Drop Jail Lawsuit

The new deal has the city paying the county a daily rate for inmates that are being held only on city charges. That's only about 35 of the jail's 1,600 inmates.

The city agreed to pay a daily rate of $45 a day, instead of the $54 the sheriff wanted.

Altogether, that's a yearly payment that could go as high as a half million dollars, if not for a new effort to reduce the number of city inmates in the jail.

"We're looking at a good business model that prioritizes public safety, but doesn't unnecessarily place people in David L. Moss and strain the sheriff's system," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The mayor says that a more thoughtful process of evaluating city inmates could cut the average number from 35 to 15 inmates a day.

That will save money for the city and the mayor believes give non-violent offenders a better chance of paying their fines.

Tulsa County Undersheriff Bryan Edwards says during the negotiation, jail operations didn't change and the result is a better system.