Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council Encouraged By Plans For New Mental Health Hospital

Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council spoke on plans for new mental health focused hospital to come in 2026.

Thursday, September 21st 2023, 9:33 pm

By: News 9


During its monthly meeting on Thursday, the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council reviewed the recently announced plans for a new mental health hospital in Oklahoma City. The new multi-million dollar facility will be located on the OSU-OKC campus. It's encouraging news for Oklahoma County criminal justice leaders. 

Timothy Tardibono, the Executive Director of the advisory council, said the plans are a good indication of the state's commitment to reduce its jail population.

"I think we’re at a place in Oklahoma county, in Oklahoma State, that we’ve never been in where the focus on mental health, getting services, treatment, and stopping addiction is really moving in the right direction," he said.

A recently published study from the Crime and Justice Institute about the population of Oklahoma County's Detention Center, suggests that there's many misdemeanor cases where people would be better served by programs other than being in a jail cell. But, pinpointing those cases can be difficult.

"How do we look at that process to make a clear determination that they’re not a flight risk or a public safety risk and need to be involved in addiction treatment, mental health services — things of that nature, and not in a cell," Tardibono explained.

The Oklahoma County Detention Center has naturally reduced its population through other means in recent years, which is noted in the study. Construction on the new mental health hospital will be completed in 2026.

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