Canadian County to add outside jail contracts

Logan, Grady and Noble counties provide ‘back-up’ to house inmates

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Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office plans to add several more counties that will accept Canadian County’s inmates.

An interlocal agreement with Logan County was formally approved Jan. 18 to house Canadian County inmates at a rate of $41 per inmate, per day.

For several years, the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office has signed contracts with Dewey, Grant, Ellis, and Washita counties to transport and house its inmates when bed space is full inside the county jail, 304 N Evans.

Other jail housing contracts – with Grady and Noble counties – will be considered by Canadian County Commissioners.

“We’ve had a couple counties where we’ve been housing (our inmates) that have diminished our numbers,” Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward said.

For example, one outside county can now keep only three Canadian County prisoners. Sometimes, other jails under contract are full and cannot accommodate the sheriff’s office at all.

The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office will have the new inmate housing agreements “as a back-up so we have a place to put them and not overrun inside our jail,” Ward explained.

The Canadian County Jail has had an official 194-inmate capacity since an expansion project finished in 2013. If needed, jail personnel will deploy portable plastic beds to handle any inmate “overflow.”

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HEY, IT FLUCTUATES

As Undersheriff Ward pointed out, Canadian County’s inmate count often fluctuates. That’s often due to the time of year.

The 2021 high was 273 inmates on Aug. 9 – with 229 at the county lock-up in El Reno and 44 prisoners housed in other counties’ jails.

On Jan. 3, the Canadian County jail population was down to 210 – with 178 inmates at the El Reno detention center and 32 lodged in contracted county jails. That was the lowest total over the past year.

On Jan. 18, there were 234 prisoners in Canadian County Sheriff’s Office custody. That included 205 miscreants in El Reno and 29 staying in other counties, with five convicts awaiting transfer to state prison.