Tulsa Officials Pleased With Sobering Center's First Year

Jul 10, 2019

Credit Matt Trotter / KWGS

During its first year, 767 people visited the Tulsa Sobering Center, a program offering adults arrested for public intoxication a place to "sleep it off" rather than go to jail.

Addiction treatment program 12&12 runs the Tulsa Sobering Center. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for Tulsa police officers to take people there, and officers can be in and out in about 10 minutes.

"Two years ago, that would equate to over 3,000 man hours the police department spends on taking those same 767 to jail. By the time they arrest them, book them, do their paperwork and court followup, that’s a lot of time," said TPD Deputy Chief Jonathan Brooks.

Brooks said the sobering center is also a money saver. Before it opened last May, the City of Tulsa had to pay $140 in jail costs for every public intoxication booking, each of which was a mandatory two-day stay.

"But the other things that we can’t quantify is reducing the court docket, minimizing judge time, public defender attorney time. You can start to see the savings we’re having here," Brooks said.

The CEO of 12&12, Bryan Day, said visitors get a meal, a ride home, and information about counseling and rehab.

"Roughly 10% of everyone who’s coming through here entered a medically supervised detox program right here at 12&12. Those 73 individuals literally just walked right around the corner and immediately accessed services," Day said.

Out of the 767 participants from May 2018 through May 2019, just 47 came to the Tulsa Sobering Center more than once.

The City of Tulsa pays 12&12 $250,000 a year to operate the sobering center.