Inmates removed from financially troubled Grady County jail

Tuesday, December 28th 2004, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

CHICKASHA, Okla. (AP) -- Inmates at the Grady County Jail have been taken back to the Department of Corrections as the county prepares to close its new jail.

62 state inmates were returned to state custody, and 22 federal prisoners and few prisoners in the custody of Avalon Corp. are being held in Grady County.

After Friday, however, only Grady County prisoners will be held at the county's old jail on the third floor of the Grady County Courthouse.

Officials are still trying to find a way to keep the jail open, but it will likely close at the recommendation of the Grady County Criminal Justice Authority.

The jail is closing because the county can't pay it's $800,000 bond payment.

"This has basically been the exact opposite of what we expected," said Sheriff Kieran McMullen. "We were operating fine with no money to pay the bond payment. Now we have made the bond payment and we don't have the money to operate."

The change came when the state announced it would help the county by paying a year's worth of costs for 62 inmates in a minimum security facility.

That agreement could not be made in writing because the legislature was not in session and the Governor's Office, State Senate and State House of Representatives would have had to vote on it.