City holds groundbreaking for Sobering Center

The city of Tulsa held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for its new Sobering Center.

The facility will be constructed in existing space at the 12&12 alcohol- and drug-addiction rehabilitation facility at 6333 E. Skelly Drive. It is scheduled to open May 1.

“The dream scenario for us was that 12&12 would be our partner,” said Mayor G.T. Bynum.

Bryan Day, CEO of 12&12, told the audience of about 50 people that the organization’s mission is to provide life-saving recovery tools for adults suffering with addiction or coexisting mental-health and substance-abuse disorders.

“It is a natural extension of our mission and our continuum of care,” Day said.

The Sobering Center marks a change in approach for the city in how it handles individuals arrested for public intoxication. Those individuals are currently booked into the Tulsa Jail at a cost to the city of $69 a day.

In 2015, the city arrested approximately 3,000 people solely for public intoxication, each of whom stayed in the Tulsa Jail for an average of two days, according to Deputy Police Chief Jonathan Brooks.

That put the city’s cost to house those inmates at approximately $400,000, with additional costs incurred by the jail and the court system. The city is paying $250,000 this year to operate the Sobering Center, and it now has the ability to provide counseling services to individuals who choose to accept them.

“This facility will allow us to do a better job (while) spending less,” Bynum said.

Individuals taken to the center will be required to stay 10 hours. It is only for people arrested for public intoxication. Individuals facing other charges, including DUI, will be booked into the Tulsa Jail.

Individuals taken to the center will not be able to simply walk out of the facility after their stay, Brooks said. They must be picked up by a friend or family member. If no one is available to pick them up, the Sobering Center will provide a cab card.

The Hardesty Family Foundation donated $750,000 to construct the new facility.

Original Tulsa World Article can be found by clicking here.