Background and Statistics
Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the country, coupled with the highest female incarceration rate in the country. Many who were incarcerated find it hard to re-integrate, secure a job, and find stable housing. The problem stems in part from incarcerated individuals not knowing all the services available to them, and not finding the proper care for their mental health needs.
According to Mental Health Association Oklahoma’s 2017 Annual Report, nearly 4200 Oklahomans faced homelessness, and 1-in-4 Oklahomans experienced mental illness. An estimated 700,000-900,000 Oklahomans needed mental illness and substance abuse services, and only 1-in-3 of these Oklahomans were accessing the medical services they needed to treat those diseases. According to Mental Health America, states with less access to mental health programs have more people in the justice system.
One of Mayor Bynum’s goals in the City of Tulsa’s Resilient Tulsa strategy is to highlight and provide adequate communication of these available services, programs and initiatives to anyone facing mental illness, those currently in the legal system and those previously incarcerated.
These programs and services are changing lives for the good, creating healthier and more productive Tulsans.