Special Services Docket
What is the Special Services Docket?
The Special Services Docket is a partnership between the City of Tulsa Municipal Court, Mental Health Association Oklahoma and other service providers. Special Services Docket allows individuals affected by mental illness, substance use, and homelessness who have committed low-level municipal offenses to be paired with a case manager in lieu of serving jail time and the usual fines and fees associated with their offenses. After successful completion of the program, the participant often has charges dismissed and/or fines, fees and court costs suspended and, when appropriate, court records expunged.
Bob Garner was instrumental in creating the docket and serving as lead prosecutor for participants in the docket. As a city prosecutor he saw first-hand the criminal justice cycle that participants were part of and wanted to make changes to help individuals be successful. Though Bob has retired from the docket, his legacy lives on through the Robert H. Garner certificate, which is given to graduates of the docket and pays homage to Bob’s service and creation of the docket.
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What are the Rules?
The program is designed to minimize barriers to participants, asking they follow three simple rules:
1. Attend – Attend court once a month for 6 months
2. Behave – No violations of any municipal, state, or federal laws
3. Communicate – Stay in good communication with your service provider, attend and participate in phone calls or meetings as well as ensure to make appointments made on your behalf with other specialty providers.
What are the Participant’s Challenges?
72% — Mental illness
58% — Experiencing Homelessness or Unstable Housing
46% — Substance Use
35% — Co-occuring
Participants are Connected with…
59% — Counseling/Mental Health
35% — Transportation
35% — Food
35% — Housing
26% — ID
19% — Income
17% — Other
What do Participants Say?
“It gave me an incentive to stay out of trouble and jail. Prevented me from getting in worse trouble.”
“The best part was the fact that someone cared about helping me and took time out of their life for me.”
“It helps people learn and grow from their mistakes. It helped me grow as a person, become more honest.”
“The best part of the program was the opportunity. I was homeless and now I have a home.”
“The most helpful part was not having to pay my fines. It's a rotating thing if you can't pay fines - you go to jail.”