Part of a series on why Oklahoma has such a high rate of female incarceration, Oklahoma Watch tells the story of Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow, who is serving 10 years in prison, has been taken away from her four young children and husband, and has ended her work in nursing homes because of $31 in marijuana sales. On Dec. 31, 2009, Spottedcrow and her mother, Delita Starr, 50, sold a “dime bag” of marijuana to a police informant at Starr’s home.
“It just seemed like easy money,” said Spottedcrow. “I thought we could get some extra money. I’ve lost everything because of it.” He will not be eligible for parole until 2014. Susie Pritchett, who sentenced Spottedcrow before she retired as a judge, said the women were conducting “an extensive operation” and included children in the business. “It was a way of life for them. Considering these circumstances, I thought it was lenient. By not putting the grandmother in prison, she is able to help take care of the children.”