New Jail Means More Money

3-17-06 - A new jail for Atoka County means more room for inmates and more guards to keep watch over them. But an increase in fees paid to the county for housing inmates could mean city cutbacks.

For years the city of Atoka has contracted out with the sheriff’s officer to house their inmates. Just a few weeks ago they received word that the price would double, which is an increase not factored into the city budget. The Atoka city managers say some programs will suffer, including funding for new police cars.

But the sheriff’s officer says for the number of services they provide cities, the increase should not be that difficulty to bear. With the jail expansion state law requires more guards to be hired, doubling the security once the facility is complete. This means the jail will have to raise the price they charge other cities that use the jail.

The Atoka city council will meet Monday night to decide what to do about budgeting for the changes.