New Tulsa Jail Saves Time For Inmates, Officers
TULSA, Oklahoma - A new Tulsa city jail is now open and when the doors opened at midnight, police officers were waiting to book prisoners in.
The jail administrators said they had few issues on the first day and it's already saving time for police officers and prisoners.
The jail that was empty of prisoners Wednesday peaked at a half dozen Thursday morning, the first day when police could bring low-level offenders to the new City of Tulsa jail.
“People who have bonded out of the jail, they are being released within 10 to 15 minutes and that's a big improvement from what we had before,” said Tulsa Municipal Courts Administrator Kelly Brader.
What they had before was at least a 90 minutes process at Tulsa County to get a prisoner booked in.
Getting them out took about the same time, and getting them to court required advance notice.
At the new jail, it's just another stop on the elevator.
“If we need to see someone immediately we can bring them down to see if they are unable to bond and find out if they're indigent,” said Brader.
Brandon Wingo has the distinction of first in; arrested Wednesday night, booked at 12:25 a.m. for shoplifting and trespassing.
Police arrested Michael Buckley in a traffic stop at 4:30 a.m. and booked him by 5:50 a.m. for possession of marijuana and driving without a license or insurance.
Both remain in custody with court dates Monday morning.
While the city plans to get people in and out quickly, they'll hold on to people who are drunk.
“A public intox will be here at least 10 hours so they can sober up,” said Brader.
Within a couple of months, the city plans to open a sobering center for people now being arrested for public intoxication.
That could eliminate one-third of the arrests on municipal charges and keep the numbers down at the new jail.
The administrator said they're confident that 36 to 48 hours is the most time anyone will wait to either see a judge or a public defender.