In an effort to save money, the Tulsa Jail will trim the number of jail visitation days from six to two.
Starting next month, visitation will be allowed Sunday and Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Currently, visitation is 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for half the jail, and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for the other half.
"We analyzed 25 other jails and 19 other prisons ... every one of them, I believe — with the exception of one — had visitation for two days, so this is nothing new," said Sheriff Vic Regalado.
Regalado said the change will save $500,000 a year, and the eight officers working visitation hours will put in more hours inside the jail.
"I hope it sends a message to the citizens of Tulsa County that we are certainly utilizing their hard-earned money in an appropriate manner and a fiscally responsible manner and not cutting safety or services while doing so," Regalado said.
Visitors who aren’t attorneys, clergy or bondsmen must be immediate family members, and all must pass a background check. There will be a waiting period if they have past convictions.
"We don't want to exclude a family member. We want to make sure that a family member has had plenty of time to separate theirself [sic] from incarceration, so what our new policy says is three years of release," said Jail Administrator David Parker.
Parker said program providers, like a weekly parenting class, won’t be affected.
Friends and other family members can use video visitation, either for free through terminals at the jail or for a fee from their computer or mobile device.