Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

Oklahoma Department of Corrections' Female Offender Intervention & Diversion Program

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): OK

Grantee Agency: See below

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2009/$350,000; FY 2010/$350,000; FY 2011/$350,000

About the Program:

The Female Offender Intervention & Diversion Program is a community based supervision program for women who would have otherwise been revoked or sentenced to a period of incarceration. The program targets women who were assessed with moderate to high risk/needs per the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R), those who are on existing probation caseloads who have become non-compliant with treatment goals, and those who are pending new cases and revocations but are not a risk to public safety. All participants must have a prevailing substance abuse and/or mental health need.

The program for the female offender includes trauma-informed treatment for substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring disorders, domestic violence and sexual assault counseling, education and vocational training, employment and parenting skills in addition to safe housing, medical care, childcare and transportation. Although other factors may exist, these areas are key to developing a strength based plan that is driven by evidence based supervision and individual offender needs.

The program also includes structured supervision by four Department of Corrections’ probation officers, two in Oklahoma County and two in Tulsa County. These officers only supervise the women in the Female Offender Intervention and Diversion Program, which includes 148 women to date. This is a 12 month program; however, each woman has her individual plan for recovery and may need longer than a year to complete. The program encourages the women to seek employment as treatment and counseling services are offered during various times during the day. Once the female offender has completed the program, her supervision can be terminated, transferred to a lower level of supervision or placed on a generic probation caseload for monitoring of additional stipulations of probation.

There are approximately 149 women actively participating in the program. These 149 women represent 173 minor children. Since the program began, there have been 114 women exit the program with only 8 (7%) of the releases being revocations.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

There are approximately 149 women actively participating in the program. These 149 women represent 173 minor children. Since the program began, there have been 114 women exit the program with only 8 (7%) of the releases being revocations.

Of the current 149 participants:

  • 61% have completed mental health treatment
  • 78% have completed substance abuse treatment

With the funding from the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has partnered with community mental health centers, NorthCare (Oklahoma County) and Family & Children’s Services (Tulsa County) for substance abuse and mental health treatment. The female offenders receive domestic violence and sexual assault counseling and education from the YWCA (Oklahoma County) and Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. (Tulsa County). These agencies provide a comprehensive program that addresses key elements that directly relate to the pathways of incarceration for the female offender. The women in the program are better able to parent their children, make better decisions regarding substance abuse and alcohol, and process, and recover from, relapse.

While substance abuse and mental health treatment is a part of most probation plans in the State of Oklahoma, case management services for food, utilities and housing are not provided by the agency. Being able to provide funding for those ancillary needs has helped the women in the program focus on sobriety and getting healthy. These basic essential needs are just as, if not more, important than treatment to the participants and their children.

The Female Offender Intervention and Diversion Program is one such program that is tackling Oklahoma’s high incarceration of women by acknowledging that women are different and therefore so should their treatment and supervision. By combining a collaborative effort between probation and parole and the treatment and counseling community, the program is effectively assisting women with all of their needs.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Courtney Woodard
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Email: courtney.woodard@doc.state.ok.us
Phone: 405-962-6181

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