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Dispute on Oklahoma Incarceration Costs Continues after Veto

KWGS File photo


The head of the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association says Gov. Mary Fallin's veto of legislation involving state prison inmates incarcerated in county jails will worsen financial and legal problems for sheriffs.

The Oklahoman reports the bill would have eliminated financial consequences to counties that don't notify the Department of Corrections within five days of a county jail inmate being sentenced to state prison. The bill involved the payment of incarceration expenses of state prison inmates held in county jails.

Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Ray McNair says Fallin's veto could force sheriffs to violate the Oklahoma constitution. A 2017 state attorney general's opinion says it would be a constitutional violation for county tax revenue to cover the cost of housing inmates after they have been sentenced to state prison.