Jail officials say tougher restrictions responsible for overcrowding

Saturday, September 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- Officials at the Tulsa Jail say tougher restrictions implemented last month in the jail's pretrial release program are responsible for overcrowding.

Inmates arrested for drug possession or driving under the influence are now ineligible for the release program. Inmates serving time on suspended or deferred sentences and those out on bail are also ineligible, unless an exception is granted by a judge.

Joe Masek is Tulsa County's contract monitor at the jail. Masek says the changes in the release program are contributing to an upward trend in jail population.

Last week, the jail hit its highest daily jail population average at more than 12-hundred inmates.

The release program's goal is to keep nonviolent offenders arrested on minor offenses out of jail while protecting the public from more dangerous criminals.

Jail officials are using electronic monitoring devices and house arrest to try to solve the overcrowding problems.