New program works to keep Tulsans from returning to jail, connect with life-stabilizing services

TULSA, Okla. — A new program in downtown Tulsa is working to keep people from returning to jail and onto a better life.

The group, called JusticeLink, helps people surrounding incarceration at David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center.

Program Director Nathan Rhea told FOX23, the group works primarily with people, with an open Tulsa County case, who has been released from jail in the last three months, or, who are imminently at risk of failing their probation

He said Thursday, “They can come in, be assessed for their individual needs, get them connected in an expedited, streamlined fashion to the providers in the community that are best suited to meet their needs.”

There are currently nine of those community providers that offer help with food, shelter, benefits, jobs, transportation and court system guidance, all in one spot.

“Oftentimes what we see is individuals are having trouble making those court dates, a court date that’s missed resulting in a failure to appear warrant which ends up with another arrest,” explained Rhea.

Based on the current average length of stay and average price per day to do so, JusticeLink said the roughly 5,600 people rebooked into David L. Moss each year costs taxpayers roughly $10 million.

The less people in jail, Rhea said, the more money can be spent elsewhere, including from people no longer behind bars.

“Our clients have expressed that we are helping them change their lives for the better, to become the person that they wanted to be and not defined by the stigma that’s associated with the system.”

Since late October, JusticeLink has helped almost 200 people.

The organization currently only works with people surrounding incarceration at David L. Moss, but the plan is to eventually add more locations. There are also more than ten additional community providers in the works.





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