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Bigger jail would make overcrowding worse, experts say

[ 0 ] April 19, 2017 |


Copyright 2017 Oologah Lake Leader

“Any attempt to ease overcrowding at the jail by building a new facility or expanding the current one will not address the root drivers of jail growth and the new jail will simply become overcrowded again.”

–Vera Institute of Justice, consultants for Rogers County Jail overcrowding issues

 “Build it and they will come” works all too well in the criminal justice system.

The big question is how to break that cycle.

The day the 120-inmate Rogers County Jail opened in 2000, it had 48 prisoners and plenty of room to expand.

It replaced a jail that could hold at most 54 prisoners and often had to turn offenders away.

Now the jail has more than doubled through expansions to hold 250 inmates but it is almost always over capacity with spikes to as many as 300 prisoners and as of last month with 114 percent of the prisoners it is allowed to house.

The report said the jail population has grown by 500 percent since the jail opened and the incarceration rate per 100,000 people has gone from 107 in 1999 to 309 in per 100,000 according to a federal report based on county data.

Read John Wylie’s analysis in this week’s Leader, in stores or in our E-Leader

Here’s a copy of the Vera report: Vera memo to Rogers County



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