Community Resource Model
Our model of defense is client-centered. That is, success for us is defined by our clients and not by our attorneys. This means that if our client is as troubled by drug addiction, for example, as they are by their criminal charge, we will attempt to connect them with services to address the addiction as well as zealously fight the criminal case.
We are grateful to be partnered with the experts in social services found at Family and Children’s Services. Family and Children’s runs the successful and nationally recognized alternative to incarceration program for drug-addicted women, Women in Recovery. Women in Recovery won the Excellence in Addictions Treatment Innovation Award from one of the nation’s most prominent mental health professional organizations and policy influencers, the National Council for Behavioral Health. Nearly 240 women have graduated from WiR since its inception. Only 9 percent have gone back to prison since program completion (the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ female recidivism rate is more than 13 percent). Over the last three years, WIR’s recidivism rate has plunged to just under 3 percent.
With a rich basis of knowledge and success, Family and Children’s Services provides training for our staff in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, poverty, and basic needs resources. In addition, Family and Children’s provides a full time social worker and a case manager to provide services and case management to our Women’s Defense Team clients. The Women’s Defense Team provides criminal defense and social services to women who are not eligible for specialty courts, such as drug court, mental health court, or community sentencing. The hope is that by providing treatment options at the earliest contact with the court system, we can decrease the chances of recidivism. While incarnation levels for women across Oklahoma have been rising, rates for women in Tulsa have been falling, thanks in large part to Family and Children’s Services and the Tulsa county Public Defender’s Women’s Defense Team.
The services that we connect clients to are primarily mental health, housing, employment, and substance abuse. Of course, there is far more need in Tulsa than there is help available. But we will do everything we can to put our clients in touch with the people and resources that are available.
In addition, we will follow up with any client who is free on a dismissal or is on probation in order to answer any questions they might have about the legal process they are going through, and to insure that we assist with the social services aspect. Most importantly, we don’t decide for our clients what is best for them. They are in charge of their own lives, and we are present to fight their cases and support them in the manner that they decide is most appropriate.