Oklahoma investigators review inmate accounts at Craig County jail

OSBI is investigating inmate trust accounts after a state audit reveals discrepancies, including $36,000 marked as received but not verified. Craig County Sheriff Jimmie Sooter blames poor bookkeeping and not embezzlement for the discrepancies.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: January 18, 2013
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The money can be used by inmates for medical expenses, copy fees or spent at the jail commissary. The money is typically refunded to inmates upon their release from the jail.

Auditors determined that some money recorded as deposited by an electronic database could not be accounted for in the account.

Other audit findings include:

Craig County inmates were being charged unauthorized book-in fees.

Several inmate account files could not be found.

The sheriff's office was spending money from the inmate accounts in violation of state law, including payments to a deputy for providing haircuts.

Some inmate accounts were running in the negative and were never refunded for insufficient fund charges.

The office lacked sufficient controls over its accounting of inmate funds.

The audit also found the sheriff's commissary fund was in arrears for nearly $83,000.

Sooter said his office has installed new accounting practices but said he did not want to comment further because of the ongoing investigation. He said no personnel changes have been made at the jail in response to the audit report.

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