Program Targets Mentally Ill Inmates

Monday, March 5th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- A program at the Tulsa Jail separating nonviolent, mentally ill inmates from the main prison population is being called innovative and effective.

A recent study of the now one-year-old program finds officials are learning how to recognize inmates with mental illnesses, then divert them into treatment programs.

Program coordinator Greer Fites says mentally ill inmates are not likely to post bond, meaning they remain in jail instead of getting needed treatment.

The program began with a two-year law enforcement grant of 100-thousand dollars. Fites is hoping additional funding and a renewal of the grant will keep it going.