Oklahoma Adopts Plan to Lower Female Incarceration Rate

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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced a public-private partnership called Pay for Success that is designed to lower the state’s female incarceration rate, The Oklahoman reports. “Government too often pays for programs that it hopes work, but under this arrangement, government will pay for what works,” Fallin said. “Women in Recovery is a cost-effective alternative that improves public safety and helps preserve Oklahoma families.” She said it would reduce Oklahoma’s “unacceptable female incarceration rate.” Tulsa-based Family & Children’s Services is required to come up with at least $2 million a year to fund the upfront costs of the program, which provides an intensive outpatient treatment alternative to women facing potential long prison sentences for nonviolent, drug-related offenses. The state would then provide up to $22,584 in reimbursements to the nonprofit organization for each woman who graduates and doesn’t reoffend.

Fallin said the program is expected to be a money saver for the state, because the total average cost of incarceration for a woman at a Department of Corrections facility over the average length of stay is $30,133. Officials said the Pay for Success model has been used to reduce recidivism in 70 projects in 18 countries, including 16 projects in the U.S. This is the first Pay for Success contract focused on female incarceration.

 

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