Canadian County Jail sees rise in inmates awaiting transfer to state prison

60 have been sentenced but still in Canadian County custody

Kevin Ward

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

EL RENO – The number of convicted Canadian County prisoners waiting to be taken to state custody continues to rise – now nearly 28% of the total inmate count.

Canadian County Undersheriff Kevin Ward on Sept. 11 presented the weekly county jail report to Canadian County Commissioners.

Ward’s update showed an inmate population totaling 216, with 178 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 38 others housed in contracted counties.

The total count is down 11 from last week as 60 prisoners await transfer to state Department of Corrections (DOC) custody.

On Sept. 5, Canadian County’s inmate population was 227 – with 187 prisoners inside the county lock-up and 40 housed in outside counties.

At that time, 56 Canadian County prisoners were waiting to be brought to DOC-Lexington to serve their state prison sentences.

Canadian County sheriff’s officials have been told that DOC this week will try to remove 20 prisoners from county custody, thus lessening the load.

“That will be very helpful,” Undersheriff Ward told commissioners.

The Canadian County Jail will continue to hold inmates – sometimes for weeks after they’ve being sentenced by a judge to state prison – if DOC does not have sufficient space.

The numbers awaiting transfer to DOC custody have steadily increased over the past two months, according to weekly jail reports:

July 17 – 43

July 24 – 43

July 31 – 42

Aug. 7 – 43

Aug. 14 – 47

Aug. 21 – 53

Aug. 28 – 57

Sept. 5 – 56

Sept. 11 – 60

The Canadian County Jail, 304 N Evans, has an official 194-inmate capacity.

The sheriff’s office contracts with other counties to house Canadian County inmates when bed space is full.

Outside counties that have been housing Canadian County’s inmates include Grant, Washita, Logan, Tillman, and Kingfisher.

Canadian County Jail’s inmate capacity increased from 72 to 194 when a $4.5 million expansion project was finished in 2013.



Among other business items approved during the Sept. 11th Canadian County Commissioners’ meeting were:

  • A lease agreement with John Deere Financial to lease a 5100E cab tractor for the Expo & Event Center. This will replace a Massey tractor that was transferred to District 2.
  • An agreement addendum for the commissioners’ office to use Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ inmates from Union City Community Corrections Center for public works projects.
  • Designation of Tom Manske as requisitioning officer and Kim Kaes and Kim Baustert as receiving officers for the commissioners’ office.
  • A floodplain permit allowing Select Energy Services to buy a new produced water pipeline in District 1.
  • Resolutions to declare an old Dodge pickup and sliding drawer as surplus for the sheriff’s office.
  • A certificate of the county treasurer for allocation of alcoholic beverage tax.