OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The State Division of Psychological Well being and Substance Abuse is on the middle of a brand new lawsuit, claiming they aren’t giving inmates entry to psychological well being assets quick sufficient.
The category motion lawsuit entails plaintiffs from Tulsa, Comanche and Oklahoma Counties who are suffering from extreme psychological sickness however declare they’re being denied well timed psychological well being remedy.
Whereas beforehand documented by stakeholders in a 2022 state Home of Representatives interim committee assembly, that disaster is specified by an almost 60 web page class motion criticism filed on March first towards the Commissioner of the Division of Psychological Well being and Substance Abuse Providers and the Govt Director of the Oklahoma Forensic Middle, pinpointing a damaged system geared toward restoring psychological well being competency for anybody unfit to face trial.
“It is a disaster. And it’s not only a disaster for the defendants. It’s a disaster for all of our county jails. It’s tough proper now for them to seek out people to work within the county jail, but it surely’s compounded after they need to take care of mentally in poor health individuals . . . when their behaviors escalate. [Jail employees] will not be educated, they don’t have the information to take care of the varieties of behaviors they’re seeing.”
Custer County Particular District Choose Donna Dirickson at an October 2022 state Home of Representatives interim examine committee assembly
Whereas the lawsuit states that most individuals discovered intially incompetent could be restored, it goes on to element a “horrifying authorized purgatory” the place plaintiffs are “caged in county jails” that aren’t designed for therapeutic care.
As a substitute, the plaintiffs are allegedly languishing for months or extra earlier than receiving remedy, together with one plaintiff from Oklahoma County who was arrested for breaking into an house and stealing a guitar.
He reportedly has a documented historical past of delusions, paranois and a psychotic dysfunction.
As of the submitting of this complaining, he’s been locked up within the Oklahoma County jail for 86 days and counting.
KFOR contacted the Division of Psychological Well being and Substance Abuse Servicesand haven’t heard again.
The web site famous an “: There’s a nationwide delay in legal defendants accessing psychological well being companies, impacting affected person circulate and creating boundaries to coming into and exiting the forensic hospital system.”
There’s a nationwide delay in legal defendants accessing psychological well being companies, impacting affected person circulate and creating boundaries to coming into and exiting the forensic hospital system. The rising demand for inpatient forensic companies at OFC has precipitated a waitlist of people inside jails needing competency evaluations and restoration
Dr. Crystal Hernandez, Govt Director of OFC
The category motion lawsuit alleges that the “variety of current Class members fluctuates”, and that’s seems the “Defendants are obscuring the true variety of individuals awaiting restoration companies”, whereas stating that the category members is “believed to be in extra of 100 people”.
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