NORMAN — Inmates at Cleveland County jail will be evaluated by a licensed counselor under a new Jail Diversion Program.
The program will evaluate them for mental health, drug, alcohol, gambling or other problems. The inmates then will be matched with community-based agencies that specialize in the areas in which they need help. They will be referred to those agencies for help after their release.
The program’s purpose is to help inmates so they won’t end up in jail again, said Sheriff Joe Lester.
Cleveland County commissioners approved a four-month contract Monday with M. Rock Richardson to provide the counseling services. The contract is for $5,000 per month.
Burn ban extended
In other business, commissioners voted to extend the countywide burn ban for another week.
Until it rains, it’s just not safe to burn anything, said Commissioner George Skinner. The county has been under a self-imposed burn ban since January.