|Updated: 4/15/2013 12:18 pm
||Published: 4/15/2013 10:56 am
Overcrowding continued to a problem at the Tulsa County Jail Monday morning. The jail has room for 1,714 inmates, and was booked with 1,905 inmates, forcing some to sleep on cots and others to be sent home.
“There were 185 people released, the problem is there was 165 additional people brought in,” Major Shannon Clark told FOX23 News.
District Judges have released those inmates booked for minor charges, like Demicio Bosseol. FOX23’s Janai Norman caught up with Bosseol after being held for five days.
“They picked me up for some fines,” Bosseol said. “Yeah, failure to pay.”
“They have very, very minor crimes, code enforcement, animal at large, and those kinds of things,” Maj. Clark says.
Right now, even crossing the street outside of a crosswalk could land you in jail. It’s considered jay-walking and could cost tax payers more than $200.
Kathleen Bowman says her boyfriend was picked up for just that—jay-walking.
“A hundred dollar ticket for walking on the wrong side of the street,” she says.
Major Clark says it costs taxpayers $237 just to book and process these petty crimes, and keeping these offenders in jail for just one day racks up at $59 dollar bill, and only adds to the overcrowding.
Bosseol says he was booked in at 12:23, but “I didn't make it to a pod until 9:30 or 10:00.”
“I sat in booking all night.”
“Just because it's that crowded,” Norman asked.
“Just because it's that's crowded,” Bosseol responded. “Yes, it's that packed.”
He says along with 24 other inmates in his pod, he was forced to sleep on the floor due to overcrowding. Major Clark says they’re trying to bring down the number of inmates as best they can, with little results so far.
“What we've asked the city to do is just temporarily, if they would stop bringing in those really, really minor crimes and issue them a citation. Let them go to court, do something other than incarcerate them.”
He says about 200 inmates are schedule for court today, but he says there's no guarantee any of them will be released.