Some ICE detainees will be housed at Kay County Detention Center

June 22, 2019 | Featured|Headlines

By SHARON ROWEN with BRADY BAUMAN and SHANE FARLEY

NEWKIRK — ICE detainees are soon to be held at the Kay County Detention Center in Newkirk under a Federal contract approved by the jail board in March, Kay County Sheriff Steve Kelley told NewsCow Friday afternoon.

Preparations continue to be made to bring the area, where the detainees will be housed, up to Federal standards. Jail officials said Federal officials have been in Newkirk off and on for the past week or two.

“Most of the ICE inmates will be those involved in civil cases, who are waiting to see if they will be deported,” Kelley said. “We should start seeing our first detainees very soon.”

The jail has been converting some day rooms into female pods and installing necessary items to ensure Federal compliance.

Kelley said the county reached out to ICE when the Oklahoma Department of Corrections began significantly reducing the number of inmates the state housed at the county jail. Numbers dropped from an average of 40 to 50 DOC inmates to an average of 10 or 15 and that reduced revenue for the jail.

Kelley said the detention center provides up to 344 beds.

Minutes from the March 8, 2019 meeting of the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority, show the authority unanimously approved a contract with the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. The Intergovernmental Service Agreement provides reimbursement to the jail for housing ICE inmates.

NewsCow has yet to obtain a copy of Kay County agreement to determine what the daily reimbursement rate will be for housing each inmate. ICE has utilized space at facilities around the country to house detainees.

The preparations in Kay County come as the Trump Administration has announced plans to begin an immigration roundup of illegal immigrants in major U.S. cities.

The Kay County Detention Center is located just south of Newkirk.