FAQ

IMG_6926

Juvenile Justice Courts and Detention Center

 

Who is the Juvenile Bureau and Courts?

  • The Juvenile Bureau of the Tulsa Country District Court is a state-mandated function of Tulsa County.
  • Handles matters related to child abuse, neglect, involuntary mental health treatment, and violations committed by minors.
  • Conducts hearings regarding permanent guardianships for minors, child support, paternity determinations, adoptions and protective orders for children.
  • Maintains a secure detention facility, a behavioral health program and an alternative school providing educational and therapeutic services for children and youth.

Why build a new facility?

  • The currently facility was built in 1969, long before significant increases in population and changes in within society now results in more cases with each passing year.
  • Staff levels have tripled, literally, from 50 in 1969 to 150 today.
  • The inadequate 45-year-old, deteriorated facility costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to maintain; currently located in a flood plain and cannot be expanded.
  • Child abuse and neglect cases have risen to an all-time high in 2013.
  •  There are not enough Court rooms to serve more than 5,000 children annually; and does not provide enough room for juries, parents, case workers and attorneys.
  • Double the number of secure detention space for a growing number of juvenile offenders;
  • Adequately plan for long-term needs of the rapidly-growing population in Tulsa County.

How much will it cost?

  • Total Estimated Cost:  $45 million
  • Approximately 175,000 square feet
  • 5 Courtrooms to serve 5,000 children
  • 96 detention beds
  • Adequate space for 150 employees providing case management, social service and diversion programs

How will it be funded?

  • The tax rate within the City of Tulsa limits will not change.  This tax is already being collected and is being redirected after June 2014 to Protect Our County.
  • With voter approval, less than 1/10th of One Penny will increase in communities outside the City of Tulsa limits.

Will it really make a difference?

 

In 2013, a Grand Jury found the current facility jeopardizes public safety — both staff and the children it serves.  The situation is dire and in need of immediate attention.

There is no greater duty than protecting the lives of those who are too vulnerable to protect themselves. Now, more than ever, the neglected and deprived children in Tulsa County deserve a day in Court to ensure their safety and security.

Juvenile offenders must face consequences for their actions; while all efforts be made to rehabilitate and deter repeat offenses.

David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center

 

Has the mental health community been involved in discussions on the
impact of the mentally ill on the jail?

 

Expert leaders among the mental health community organizations directly assisted in measuring the mental health issues facing the jail, the lack of alternative facilities and funding options.

The number of inmates with serious mental illnesses has dramatically increased in the last decade. Due to closures of state-operated facilities, the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center is now the largest mental health treatment facility in Northeast Oklahoma.

Each day, nearly one-third of all inmates, or approximately 650, receive some type of psychotropic drug.  In contrast, there are only 100 beds split among community providers in the Tulsa region.

The expansion not only ensures these individuals are prohibited from harming themselves and the public-at-large, but also ensures they receive the proper care and treatment necessary.

What is the capacity of the jail?

The Tulsa County Jail opened in 1999 and, after 14 years, has reached its maximum capacity and beyond.  The Tulsa County population has increased by nearly 50,000 since the jail was built and annually, more than 32,000 are processed through the facility.

Consequently, 1,714 beds no longer meet the needs of demand as the average number of inmates has exceeded 2,000 regularly for the last two years.

This places both staff and other inmates at considerable risk according to the Grand Jury’s findings.

Have there been other expansions to the jail?

No, there have been no additions to the jail since it opened in 1999.  It was built with an adequate capacity forecasted through 2012 – more than two years ago.

How much will it cost?

  • Total Estimated Cost:  $9.3 million with an annual operating cost of $1.7 million
  • 1 specialty housing units designed for inmates with mental illness
  • 1 housing unit for juvenile inmates certified as adults based on crime committed
  • 2 general-population housing units

How will it be funded?

  • The tax rate within the City of Tulsa limits will not change.  This tax is already being collected and is being redirected after June 2014 to Protect Our County.
  • With voter approval, less than 1/10th of One Penny will increase in communities outside the City of Tulsa limits.