Number Of Visitation Days Decreasing At Tulsa County Jail

Friday, July 14th 2017, 6:21 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Changes to visitation are coming to the Tulsa County Jail and could start as early as August.

The sheriff’s office said they looked at 25 other jails and 19 prisons while considering the change.

Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Casey Roebuck said the decision was made to help cut costs.

"We wanna be really good stewards of the tax payer money. Budgets are very tight. We understand people have family and friends in the jail that they wanna visit," she said.

Cutting costs while continuing to accommodate the needs of visitors is the message the sheriff's office said they want people to know when they cut down visitation days to the jail.

"A few of the notable changes will be the visitation will be from six days to two, which, really because each pod only gets three days of visitation, is actually only a reduction of one day," Roebuck said.

When the changes go into effect, only immediate family members, attorneys, clergy and bondsmen will be allowed to visit inmates. A background check will also be required, which you can apply for here.

Visitation will be held on Sunday and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and all visitation must be scheduled in advance.

The sheriff’s office also said the changes will help save money.

"It'll save us about $500,000 a year. In addition to that, we also close the lobby in the late evening hours - that's expected to save us another $55,000 a year," Roebuck said.

She said no jobs will be lost and the money saved will go back into the jail.

Roebuck said the sheriff's office will offer another way for people to communicate if they don’t meet the requirements, with a program similar to Facetime.

"Go online through HomeWav, sign up and they can use their computer or cell phone to talk with their loved one in jail, and those hours are a lot more liberal," she said.

That program is open to anyone from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., but the jail also offers terminals from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Roebuck said they are working on lowering the cost to use the system, but that the jail terminals are free.

There will be a news conference Monday at the jail to discuss the changes for anyone that has any questions or comments.