Sunday, May 7, 2017

Another Suicide In Tulsa Jail

The Tulsa Frontier reports that Tulsa County avoided another embarrassing lawsuit over a sad tragedy. 
A young man of questionable mental health missed a court hearing. He was summarily hauled into the jail for failure to appear.
  No mental health concern was ever followed up on. Then they found him hanging in his cell.
  The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has historically spent next to nothing on training detention officers.  They are not CLEET certified. They are not mental health experts. What little training they do get is about how to deal with "bad dudes" and keep them from causing trouble. 
  But the detention officers are racking up a massive debt and responsible for several deaths. To this end, I have been volunteering my time for several weeks, to train these officers. I've a certified teacher of the NAMI education programs.
  The Sheriff's department is sorely underfunded and the poor training led to several lawsuits. I am proud that NAMI Tulsa has been selected to assist the new administration in this effort. 
  Friday I met with the Oklahoma Commissioner of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services. That state agency is excited about the volunteer efforts and hopeful that the program can be duplicated in other counties.
  Meanwhile the Tulsa Sheriff faces  a score of other lawsuits and Tulsa County will see taxes rise to pay the damages.
It's a sad tale of "Pay now or pay later". But we are paying for our failures in mental health care.

Here's a snippit from the Tulsa Frontier coverage...
  Tulsa County commissioners have authorized a $150,000 settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a former Tulsa Jail inmate who attempted to hang himself last year, county records show.  Nathan Bradshaw was arrested March 8, 2016, and attempted to hang himself March 13, 2016, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said. He died a few days later in a Tulsa hospital.
Bradshaw had been arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court on a larceny charge.  A resolution that appears on Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda authorizes the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office to “confess judgment without admitting liability.”

from Sooner - Editorial

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