Thursday, September 14, 2017 5:00 am
Fewer people are expected to head to jail in the coming months as local law enforcement and the courts continue to look for ways to reduce overcrowding.
Oklahoma City will use 29,200 "prisoner days" at the Oklahoma County jail during fiscal 2018, which is down nearly 30 percent from 41,200 just two years ago, according to projections released by the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The estimated reduction in prisoner days meant the city saved more than $626,000 when officials hammered out a $1.4 million county jail contract during budget proceedings in June.
Aggressive efforts by the courts to release more arrestees on their own recognizance, working with people who cannot pay bond on low-level crimes and cutting the number of arrests made of those who have warrants for unpaid criminal justice fees are the biggest reasons why the number of prisoner days is falling, Police Chief Bill Citty told the City Council during an Aug. 29 meeting.
The number of people jailed on municipal charges fell 26 percent — from about 12,900 to 9,500 — from fiscal 2015 to fiscal 2017, according to police figures. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.