Oklahoma judge says jail unsafe for mental health detainees

Posted at 5:58 AM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 06:58:18-05

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

The Oklahoman reports Special Judge Geary Walke says 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 say 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.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.