Okla. County Sheriff hires firm to determine inmate fee for jail time

2/14/2017 - OKC, OK -- Currently inmates at the Oklahoma County Jail are assessed a fee of $32 a day for their confinement. This fee is applied to all inmates, regardless of any finding of guilt or even the filing of criminal charges.

The current fee is set each year by District Judge Ray C. Elliot.

The fee is supposed to be a reflection of the operating costs and the average number of inmates housed per day.

A disagreement arose last year after Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel asked for the rate to be set at $48.05. Judge Elliot reportedly did not agree and concluded the sheriff's office had intentionally miscalculated several factors to justify a higher fee.

A state auditor later confirmed Judge Elliot's findings in an audit last October.

Sheriff Whetsel has now hired the consulting firm of MGT of America Consulting LLC to perform a cost analysis and recommend a daily incarceration rate.

The decision to hire the Florida based consulting firm was approved by county commissioners in a 2-1 vote.

Despite whatever fee amount is set, records show that very little is actually collected from inmates.

In January alone, only $516 was collected after their release.