Tulsa Leaders Begin Jail Expansion Meetings

The room was packed, perfect setting for a pitch asking for help to ease overcrowding.

"The need couldn't be any worse or any greater at this point in time," said Terry Simonson.

Add to that, a jail burdened with the extra task of caring for the mentally ill without the proper facilities.

"We've got 627 people under psychiatric care in the jail right now," he said.

On the juvenile side; more crowding issues, with the pitch that a better facility could help youthful offenders reform their ways.

"You're either going to pay for it now or you're going to pay for it later," he said.

On hand to hear the arguments?

"What do these improvement specifically do to make juvenile justice in Tulsa work better? And that's what I'm hoping to learn tonight," said Tulsa city councilor GT Bynum.

Neither for nor against, councilor Bynum, like many Tulsans, will want to understand the issue in terms of bang for your buck.

"Putting money into a street makes it better for you to drive on, that's a fairly cut and dry calculation to make. The county has a little bit more difficult of an explanation to make to folks as far as explaining how improving a juvenile justice facility provides for better juvenile justice," he said.