Tulsa Attorney BlogNew Bill Would Speed Up Treatment for Inmates Declared Incompetent to Stand Trial in Oklahoma

SB 1113 Is for People That Are Being Held in Pre-trial Detention

Video Transcribed: New bill would speed up treatment for inmates declared incompetent to stand trial. I’m Oklahoma attorney James Wirth, we’re talking about a new bill introduced in Oklahoma.

It is a Senate bill 1113 and that deals with an issue going on for people that are being held in pre-trial detention. Essentially they’ve been arrested for an offense, they have not bonded out, they’re being held in the county jail, and they’re going through court proceedings.

Meanwhile, they have some mental health issue that causes the court to declare them incompetent to stand trial. Under those circumstances, right now they have to wait and they’re held in the county jail until the state facility opens up, often that is in Vinita.

That’s according to reporting by The Frontier that a facility in Vinita is up to a five-month backlog for men and a six-month backlog for women that can cause people even on minor offenses to be in pretrial detention for months, much longer than they would’ve received jail time had they just taken care of their case and maybe even just pled guilty.

Nevertheless, because they’re not allowed to plead guilty because they don’t have the capacity to have the understanding of the proceedings, they are held until they can get treatment in the state facility. The Frontier’s reported on the specifics of one person that’s been caught up on this. Somebody who had no prior offenses, arrested on a relatively minor offense, public intox, misdemeanor, Grace Franklin.

She ended up being held in Stevens County jail for six months on pretrial detention for an offense that normally wouldn’t get you hardly any if any, jail time at all. But that was the case because she was waiting to be transported to the state facility for mental health treatment to get her competent to stay trial and there’s a backlog on that.

attorney in OklahomaSo what is trying to be done to get this resolved? Well, ultimately, a bill has been introduced, Senate Bill 1113, and that bill provides is that if the person cannot be transported to a state facility within 30 days, then it is then incumbent on the state to provide the mental health treatment to the defendant in the county jail, rather than waiting to get in the state facility so that there shouldn’t be as much of a delay on mental health treatment to allow them to get back up capacity where they need to be so the case can move forward.

So in the case of somebody with like public intox, they can go ahead and probably just enter a plea of guilty, maybe just get a fine and get out of custody. So if you’ve got any questions about these circumstances, people that are stuck in this limbo, then you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about these specifics and do so confidentially. To get that scheduled with a Tulsa Criminal Defense attorney at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.

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