Comanche County offers new pre-trial release program

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Comanche County’s new pre-trial release program officially started on Saturday. This pre-trial release program will not only benefit the inmates, but also the county and community.

Comanche County commissioners approved $80,000 in ARPA funds just last week, which will fund the pre-trial release program for its first nine months.

With this program, defendants can be released from custody under supervision as long as they meet certain requirements, which will vary depending on each individual case.

Court-related services will be monitoring the defendants during this time, which will cost the county $10 a day, instead of the $40 it currently costs to house an inmate in the jail.

“So it’s going to be saving the county money, it will also reduce our jail population which is a huge huge concern for the county,” said Cabelka.

If the defendant violates the agreement they could face additional charges and return to jail.

Comanche is one of the first counties to implement a release program like this, and Cabelka believes it can help break the cycle and make defendants productive members of society.

“We get them out of jail, we get them back on their feet, they get services they get supervised and hopefully we never have to have to prosecute them and deal with them through the criminal justice system again,” he said.

He said they will be very selective on who qualifies until they have figured out any issues with the program

“Still want to make sure that they are perfect candidates for the program and that we are really setting them up for success and not for failure because the more successful the defendants are, the more successful the program is,” said Cabelka.

Defense lawyers, the DA’s office and court-related services are working together to create a list of eligible inmates so they can begin with the release process.