No immediate expansion plans set for Canadian County Jail

Editor’s note: This is the last story in a three-part series about the Canadian County Detention Center. The series explores inmate and employee services, compliance history and more.
Staff at the Canadian County Detention Center have significant responsibilities, but they work to maintain overall care of inmates, jail administrator Maj. Kristie Carter said.

The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office logo is on the floor of the new booking and holding area at the county jail. The sheriff’s office and the Canadian County commissioners are responsible for the jail. Jail administrator Maj. Kristie Carter said both officials are responsive in ensuring the facility receives necessary updates. Photo / Haley Humphrey

This year, the jail’s daily incarceration rate has risen to $53. Last year, it was $40.
The center’s deficit is $26 a day per inmate. Several factors impact the incarceration rate.
Several years ago, the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association developed a new calculation sheet to determine the best Department of Corrections pricing. They added utility, salary, benefit, out-of-county housing expenses and more to the formula.
DOC pays the jail $27 a day per inmate.
“In reality, it costs us more than that to house the inmate,” Carter said.
The day an inmate is sentenced to DOC, the jail can begin billing the department. However, DOC does not pay the jail’s daily incarceration cost.
“The fewer people you have in custody, the more it costs to incarcerate them,” Carter said. “Because I still have to pay for the staff, I still have to pay for food, I still have to pay utilities. If there’s fewer people to spread that cost amongst, the cost per inmate goes up.”

Female population rising
Between April and June of 2020, the jail had 115 inmates.
“It was the lowest it had been in a long time,” she said.
There are currently 190 inmates at the jail. The capacity is 194.
On the new jail side, there are 111 inmates. Only males are housed on that side.
There are two pods that can hold up to 60 inmates on the newer side. An additional seven cells are also on the new side in the booking area, which can hold males or females.
Females and more males are housed on the old side, with two per cell. The exception of one to a cell is made for males and females who cannot get along with others, Carter said.
Females and males are not celled together, nor in the same pod. There are 37 cells on the old side — 10 are designated for females and 26 are for males.
Another separate cell is also located on the old side, which can be used for either inmate depending on the jail’s need, Carter said.
There are 22 females currently.
“Our female is probably our largest increasing population,” Carter said. “We’re receiving more and more females that are violent crimes or aggravated trafficking, so large quantities of drugs, normally from out of state, who are not eligible or have high bond amounts.”
Oklahoma has the highest incarceration of women per capita in the nation.
There is also a quarantine holding place on the old jail side, with three cells. Two inmates may be placed in the same one if neither have tested positive for COVID-19.
Five males are currently in quarantine.
Canadian County commissioner Dave Anderson said he does not anticipate the expanding of the jail in the next several years.
“We built it where it could be extended to the north and enlarged,” Anderson said. “We realize Canadian County’s growing and eventually that need will be there, but it’s not on us yet.”

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