Jail Visiting Days Reduced

Jul 17, 2017

Jail video system
Credit TCSO

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.