CANADIAN COUNTY (KFOR) – The Canadian County Jail is seeing a rise in inmates who need to transfer to state prison. This week, they had up to 60 inmates who needed to be transferred to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) – one of the highest numbers the jail has seen in a long time.

The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office said 22 inmates were transferred to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections this week, but they’ve still got 38 more who are waiting to be processed.

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said the jail is too small considering the size of the county and he has safety concerns with the high number of inmates in their care. 

“My main concern as a sheriff who is responsible for overseeing a jail run is the safety of my people that work in there, you know, as well as the safety of the of the people that are residents, you know, the inmates that are there. I just want to make sure that everybody safe, that they’re getting fed, that they have access to medical, those types of issues,” said Sheriff West.  

Although the jail is seeing high inmate counts, he does not believe it is an issue and is working closely with the DOC.

“They run everybody through a processing center and then they have different prisons that are out around Oklahoma… There’s 77 of us that are working with the Department of Corrections,” said Sheriff West.

KFOR reached out to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

A spokesperson told KFOR, “We intake 35-40 inmates from all 77 counties four days a week, 52 weeks a year. We have a great working relationship with Canadian County, which brought us 10 inmates today.” 

The jail is now waiting for about 18 percent of its inmates to be transferred to the DOC. Sheriff West said this has been a common trend he believes will stay.