New Jail Opens In Canadian County - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

New Jail Opens In Canadian County

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The new building will supplement the existing jail and will cut down on overcrowding problems and even save the county money. The new building will supplement the existing jail and will cut down on overcrowding problems and even save the county money.
CANADIAN COUNTY, Oklahoma -

The Canadian County Sheriff's Office showed off a new jail to the public on Saturday.

The new building will supplement the existing jail and will cut down on overcrowding problems and even save the county money.

The current jail can only incarcerate 72 inmates, but Canadian County typically has closer to 200 people in custody. That means the sheriff's office has had to send inmates away to other counties' facilities, costing Canadian County about $2,000 every day.

The new jail cost about $5 million. It was built with high-tech features, but do not be fooled, said Sheriff Randall Edwards, inmates in his jail will only get the bare minimum.

"Taxpayer dollars have paid for this facility," explained Edwards. "We've tried to be good stewards and build absolutely what's necessary and nothing more. This is a bare-bones minimum facility."

The need for a bigger facility to house inmates has been around for years. In the past five years, the county commissioners have put up two tax-payer financing options to a vote. Both times, the public defeated the proposal.

"We stepped back, scaled down our plan to a facility that we could fund and afford with our existing county budget," said County Commissioner, David Anderson.

Anderson said the jail did not create additional taxes and it will be paid off within 10 years. He said it was a smart investment.

"The facility was designed with the potential for expansion," explained Anderson.

The first phase was building the intake area and the dormitory-style pods. More than 100 low-level offenders will be housed in the two pods.

"Violent charges, sex offenders, those will be housed in our maximum security facility which is the older facility that we have. It is, instead of a dorm-style like this, it's a cell block," explained Assistant Jail Administrator Lt. Travis Carmack.

With that many inmates interacting in an open space, security has to be alert at all times. In fact, there are no blind spots in the jail. Deputies in the command tower can see everything and anytime with the state-of-the-art camera system.

"It's as secure as any jail can be," said Edwards.

The Sheriff said he plans to transfer inmates from other facilities back to Canadian County this week. Once all of them are in place, the jail will be close to its maximum capacity.

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