According to Regalado, TCSO now processes double the mental health detention orders that they did just 6 years ago. These suffering individuals are not allowed to be treated as suspects of crime. But they are expected to be unstable and unpredictable.
Aside from the 700 mental health transport orders the TCSO completes, Regalado says that the Tulsa County Jail has had to build the largest jail mental health facility in the state. After it's April opening, it has been perpetually full of the most seriously psychotic individuals in the whole jail.
TCSO says that 1/3 of the 1600+ inmates are being treated for serious mental illness on any given month. 90% of them are men. His staff says that a vast number of the seriously ill at the county jail have not been charged with a serious charge of victimizing anyone. It appears they were booked with a minor charge as a pretense so as to get them off the street.
All of this is in great part the result of a severely cut state budget for dealing with mental illness. I spoke in depth with state commissioner, Terri White. She says that Tulsa County has the worst conditions in the state and that our metropolitan hospitals have been asked to contract with the state to make more mental health capacity available, but they are resisting such partnerships.
Listen to Vic Regalado and Pat Campbell discuss the crisis...
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...