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Oklahoma judge says jail unsafe for mental health detainees

Oklahoma judge says jail unsafe for mental health detainees

February 11th, 2019 in National News

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The judge who presides over Oklahoma County’s mental health court said the county jail isn’t a safe place to house detainees awaiting mental health treatment.

The Oklahoman reported Special Judge Geary Walke said mental health court will no longer keep participants awaiting treatment in custody at the county jail. Instead, they will be released on their own recognizance.

The decision comes one month after 29-year-old U.S. Army veteran Krysten Gonzalez died in her cell at the county jail. The cause of death hasn’t been released but officials said Gonzalez hanged herself.

Gonzalez had been jailed for three months before her death while the Oklahoma County public defender’s office searched for a mental health treatment facility that could take her. She had been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.