KGOU

Judge Frustrated With Delays In Mental Health Placement

Feb 5, 2015

Terri White, Commissioner, The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. She was threatened with contempt of court for not moving a patient to proper treatment. White says there was no room at the facility.
Credit ok.gov

An Oklahoma County judge threatened to jail the state's mental health commissioner for ignoring a written order to commit an inmate to a state mental health facility.

The Oklahoman reports that District Judge Ray C. Elliot admonished commissioner Terri White for not transferring 35-year-old Ricky Norman Edwards to the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita as per his July 24 order.

The inmate was transferred this week after a contempt-of-court hearing was scheduled for White.

White, who was not at the hearing but represented by the state general counsel, said that Edwards could not be moved because there were not enough beds at the facility.

A psychologist found Edwards to be mentally incompetent after he was charged with sexual battery last May.

The contempt-of-court ruling will be held March 2.

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