By James Swift
Oklahoma’s Commission on Children and Youth wants a Cleveland County program that assists non-violent offenders with re-entry implemented statewide, the Moore American reported.
Introduced in 2009 by Sheriff Joe Lester, the Second Chance Act Program (S-CAP) offers services to women leaving the Cleveland County Detention Center. Since being implemented, the Bureau of Justice funded program has seen a staggering decrease in recidivism levels. Four years ago, 70 percent of women in the program were re-arrested; now, the rate of recidivism for S-CAP participants rests at just 10 percent.
“We started this program because it is the right thing to do,” said Lester. “and the only solution to keep women from coming back to jail.”
The program assists recently released women with housing needs, additionally providing counseling and employment services. Nearly nine-out-of-10 program participants are mothers, according to the commission.
“[The] S-CAP Navigation Program prevents Cleveland County women and mothers from drifting into the prison system and prevents their children from drifting in the foster care system,” S-CAP Director Rock Richardson is quoted by the Moore American. “This model positively impacts women, mothers and their children who are non-violent offenders that experiences incarceration for the first time.”