Putting Nonviolent Offenders Back on Track

Posted:

OCCHD and partners are devising ways to help nonviolent offenders get back into the mainstream. An estimated 77 percent of the inmates in the county’s overcrowded jail are nonviolent offenders whose crimes might be better addressed through mental health and community service opportunities.

The City of Oklahoma City has been working with OCCHD on a comprehensive program to reduce recidivism for nonviolent offenders by integrating crime, health, and social service data to specifically help each person in the criminal justice system.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said, “Being among the Champion Cities in the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge is exciting and we are learning so much during this testing phase. It is not often that a city is given the resources to test an innovative idea, find what works, what doesn’t work, and seek better solutions. We are pleased to have this opportunity to refine our unique approach to criminal justice reform. We believe that this effort, along with other ongoing reforms, has a real chance to improve outcomes in our city.”

The idea revolves around utilizing data to understand what is going on with a person and case managing them into appropriate resources.

Gary Cox, Executive Director of OKC-County Health said, “We were making great strides on health except for two areas and one of those areas revolves around unintentional deaths. Upon closer examination, we found out that it was drug overdoses.”

A bold reminder on why this problem needs to be addressed is that children with incarcerated parents are 70% more likely to become incarcerated themselves.

The goal of the proposal is diversion of low risk/high need offenders from incarceration into community success through a data driven, community care model that will strengthen the future of Oklahoma City.