For the third year in a row, the All Souls Criminal Justice Outreach (CJO) will host a Holiday Celebration for Women In Recovery graduates and their children.
Women in Recovery (WIR) is a court-ordered program, supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and implemented by Family & Children Services as an effort to give women a chance at recovery rather than prison time. The program consists of an intensive outpatient mentorship group for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses. WIR works closely with the criminal justice system and various community partners like CJO to ensure program participants receive supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training and family reunification services.
Women accepted into the program live in approved housing, submit to 24/7 monitoring/supervision, participate in daily trauma and substance abuse therapy (group and individual), meet educational requirements, attend life skills classes and are required to be employed after they graduate from the program. After graduation, WIR Continuing Care offers lifetime services, support, healthy connections, and community resources for all women who have been connected to the program.
Impacting Women & Families, & Oklahoma
Since 2009, more than 745 women have participated in the program, avoiding lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent felony offenses. The program has been able to divert 623 women (current participants and graduates) and avoid 1,137 combined years in the Department of Corrections, saving the state more than $25.6 million. Addiction, abuse and poverty are factors that impact the vast majority of WIR participants. The program helps women conquer their drug addiction, recover from trauma and acquire the essential economic, emotional and social tools to build successful and productive lives. WIR is designed for women who are dedicated to changing their lives and becoming positive, contributing members of our community. Those who graduate from WIR are eligible go before a judge and ask to have their convictions expunged.
Hosting the Holiday Celebration is a chance for CJO and All Souls to celebrate these women and their families. We decorate Emerson Hall, have some tasty snacks, we have a fun photo booth, we give out gift cards for the children of WIR graduates.
We’re also visited by our CJO Christmas Elf (Jill Webb!) and and Santa Claus. It’s also a chance for us to end the year on a festive note, looking back at our accomplishments throughout the year and looking forward to what great things our group will accomplish in the next year.
How you can help:
Every year, we provide $25 gift cards for 50 teenage children of the mothers in the WIR program. Partner organizations have already committed to providing gifts for the children in all the other age groups (This is truly a community wide celebration!). Donations to All Souls CJO are greatly appreciated and would be used to fund our gift card giveaway, the photo booth, catering, and our other expenses associated with the event. To give to CJO’s Holiday Party, make a gift in the church office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women in Recovery
Women in Recovery (WIR) is an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses. Operated in partnership with the George Kaiser Family Foundation, WIR works closely with the criminal justice system and various community partners to ensure program participants receive supervision, substance abuse and mental health treatment, education, workforce readiness training and family reunification services.
Benefits of WIR:
- Strengthens individuals and families
- Breaks the cycle of intergenerational incarceration
- Helps women involved in the criminal justice system become productive, tax-paying citizens
- Is more cost-effective than incarceration
- Improves public safety
Criminal Justice Outreach
The All Souls Criminal Justice Outreach Team seeks to educate how we are all impacted by incarceration, to educate the community about criminal justice issues, and to cultivate equitable reforms in Oklahoma’s Criminal Justice System. This is a public health issue and a mental health issue. Read more and get involved with CJO’s initiatives such as Harm Reduction, Opioid Addiction, Incarceration Reduction, and others on our website. CJO meets every 3rd Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. All interested in joining this justice team are welcome to join.
Read more from Carlos Moreno about CJO initiatives and impact on our blog.