By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Inmate population has declined in recent weeks at the Canadian County Jail.
On Jan. 3, there were 178 inmates housed inside the county’s detention center at 304 N Evans.
That was 25 inmates less than the previous Monday, Dec. 27.
Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward reported the sheriff’s office had 210 inmates in custody, with 32 prisoners being housed in other counties, to start the new year.
Canadian County inmates may have been granted “some early Merry Christmas releases,” Ward suggested.
Ten Canadian County convicts were still in the county jail awaiting transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.
The weekly Canadian County Jail report presented Jan. 3 showed the lowest inmate population in many months.
“Those numbers are way, way down,” District 3 County Commissioner Jack Stewart said.
Inmate counts dropped steadily over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
On Dec. 27, there were 232 inmates in custody – with 203 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 29 housed in other counties.
That combined amount was down 14 from the previous week.
“People acted right over the holiday,” Commissioner Stewart said Dec. 27.
Canadian County’s combined inmate counts were 246, 250 and 238 on the first three Mondays in December.
The county’s inmate population in 2021 had peaked at 273, which occurred last August.
The Canadian County Jail has had an official 194-inmate capacity since an expansion project nine years ago.
The last time there were fewer than 200 inmates reported in custody was Dec. 28, 2020.
The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office has contracts with Dewey, Grant, Ellis, and Washita counties to transport and house its inmates when bed space is full in El Reno.