March 12, 2014

Biggs' jail reimbursement bill passes State House

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed HB 2804, which addresses Department of Corrections' (DOC) reimbursement rates to county jails, by a vote of 79-2 today.

The bill, authored by Rep. Scott Biggs (R-Chickasha), allows the presiding district judge in each county to set a daily reimbursement rate for housing inmates if the county and DOC cannot reach an agreement. State law allows the DOC to pay county jails just $27 per day per inmate housed. 

As a result, the Grady County Jail, for example, has faced a shortfall of $13 per federal inmates they house, since the DOC budgets $40 per day per inmate. The jail must find ways to make up for the shortfall.

The bill also allows for nonviolent offenders within six months of release to be considered for parole by the local board if the correctional facility is at maximum capacity at the time the DOC is required to house federal inmates there.