Drug Diversion and Alternatives to Jail For Women
Oklahoma is known to have some of the toughest drug laws in the nation. These strict laws and harsh penalties have also led to our state having some of the highest incarceration rates in America, especially among women. In fact, Oklahoma’s incarceration rate for women is roughly double that of the national average.
Drug Crimes, Addiction and Recovery
Nearly half of the women in our state’s prisons are there for drug possession or other drug-related crimes. Recognizing this and the high rates of alcohol and substance abuse among these women, former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed legislation in 2010 to help establish a prison diversion program for non-violent female offenders.
In 2009, the Women in Recovery program was founded in Tulsa as a means to provide substance abuse treatment and teach life skills to women convicted of these offenses. In 2011, Oklahoma County established its own program, ReMerge, based on Tulsa’s model.
ReMerge is a program that offers an alternative to prison for women convicted of non-violent drug-related offenses. Priority for the program is given to:
- Pregnant women
- Women with multiple children
- Women with children under the age of five
Although not everyone qualifies for ReMerge, there may be other alternatives available to you. An experienced defense attorney can help you understand all of your options and help you obtain the most favorable resolution to your case.