Oklahoma Watch, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World are examining the issue of Oklahoma's high female incarceration rate. In one story in a series, the Tulsa World reports that drug-related offenses account for about 12 percent of females arrested in Oklahoma and about 50 percent of women incarcerated. The average state sentence for women with drug-related convictions is 5½ years, found a Tulsa World analysis of prison sentences since 2000.
Drug court participation in Oklahoma has increased from about 1,500 in 2005 to about 4,200 currently, as more counties add programs. The World tells the story of a mother and two daughters who ended up in drug court. Only one of the sisters graduated. “Drug Court not only saved me, they didn't give up on me,” she said.