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OK County Studies Jail Time for Immigrants
By www.newsok.com
Published: 02/08/2010

Hundreds of illegal immigrants stayed in the Oklahoma County jail nearly twice as long as the national average before being removed in 2008 because of problems.

This is according to a recent report released by the Syracuse University project, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

"It’s a pretty good revenue enhancer if there are extra cells,” said Stan Inman, former District 3 county commissioner.

The federal government pays more to the jail than the state or city to house its prisoners.

Mark Myers, spokesman for Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel, said money had nothing to do with why they were there so long.

"When someone commits a crime, the system is in place for them to be dealt with in the courts. Then the federal government determines what happens,” he said.

But Whetsel implemented a hiring freeze shortly after the removal of the prisoners, citing a potential loss of as much as $3.2 million a year in lost revenue.

At the time, the county was being reimbursed $42.33 per day by the federal government for each federal prisoner.

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