Women in Recovery

With a female incarceration rate nearly twice the national average, Oklahoma’s rate has led the nation every year since 1994, except in 2003. The pathways to incarceration for Oklahoma women often begin early, with physical and sexual abuse, chaotic home environments and poverty. These childhood challenges can result in decreased educational attainment and can lead to substance abuse and addiction and mental illness. Domestic violence and adult victimization are also pathways to incarceration for women. Children with incarcerated parents have a significantly increased risk of being incarcerated in the future, continuing the cycle of incarceration.

With its focus on improving the lives of at-risk, young children and recognizing that without intervention this cycle of incarceration will continue, GKFF prioritized the issue of female incarceration. In 2009, GKFF invested in a new program - Women in Recovery (WIR) - in partnership with Family & Children’s Services, to reduce the number of women sent to prison from Tulsa County.

The Women in Recovery program began in June 2009 as an alternative to incarceration program for women facing significant prison sentences in Tulsa County. WIR reduces the number of female receptions in Tulsa County by offering an alternative to incarceration for judges, district attorneys and public defenders, by combining strict supervision within a comprehensive day treatment format for women with substance abuse problems.

Participant requirements and programs include:

  • Gender-responsive trauma informed substance abuse treatment and cognitive behavioral therapies
  • Employment and vocational training
  • Comprehensive individual and group treatment
  • Family reunification/parent skill training
  • Transitional safe and sober housing
  • Intensive case management & basic needs
  • Employment and vocational training
  • Primary health and dental care
  • Linkage to community recovery support groups
  • Life skills, education, transportation, volunteerism
  • Wellness and stress reduction
  • Community integration
  • Aftercare services post graduation

A woman is potentially eligible to enter WIR if she is 18 years of age or older, is involved in the criminal justice system and ineligible for other diversion services or courts, has a history or is at risk of substance abuse and is at imminent risk of incarceration. Women with children have a high priority for program admission. With more than 300 women sent to prison from Tulsa County in FY2010, the need for alternatives is crucial.

For more information or to contact Women in Recovery, please call (918) 991-6200.

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