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Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

For Oklahomans accused of low-level crimes like possessing small amounts of drugs or public intoxication, getting out of jail free while the case is pending often depends less on the nature of the charge than on what county they are arrested in.

Court data shows that counties have widely varying rates of pretrial release of misdemeanor defendants without requiring cash bail.

prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

A legal challenge, partly spearheaded by Oklahoma leaders, has blocked the federal government from setting limits on how much inmates and their families can be charged for in-state telephone calls.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2-1 decision Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission exceeded its authority in creating a national rule that sought to cap fees on intrastate phone calls for the first time.

Robert Patton, Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Friction between the state's new prisons director and some county sheriffs is flaring up because of a pair of bills in the state Legislature.

Robert Patton began taking inmates out of county jails shortly after he started at the Department of Corrections about a year ago.

That move angered many sheriffs who count on the $27-per-day the state pays for housing the inmates to help maintain county jail operations.

Corrections officials are now pushing two bills to delay when the department begins paying counties for housing a state inmate.

prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities are investigating after a 23-year-old inmate was found dead in her cell at the Pontotoc County jail.

Sheriff John Christian says a jailer discovered Tammy Jordan of Ada unresponsive in her cell Monday. The sheriff tells The Ada News that Jordan was pronounced dead by emergency responders.

Christian says there were no signs of foul play and that Jordan was alone in her cell when she died. The state medical examiner's office will determine Jordan's cause of death.