The Okmulgee County Criminal Justice Authority (OCCJA), in partnership with multiple agencies within the Okmulgee County Consortium (a group of individuals and service providers dedicated to preventing substance use disorders and promoting overall wellness within the county), began offering several impactful programs to current inmates as well as ensuring continued holistic health services after release.
The Director of Community Outreach, Jon Keim, has coordinated comprehensive efforts between numerous entities to serve the often overlooked and under-treated inmate and formerly incarcerated population, effectively implementing a wide variety of programs that will positively impact participants for years to come.
The Okmulgee County Consortium and OCCJA aims to provide tools to better enable our population to reach their full potential through their own effort, often with the help and supervision of trained and/or licensed mental health practitioners. Participants are connected with mental and physical health services, programs to assist in finding safe living spaces, resources to help find gainful employment and volunteer opportunities, and referred to local support groups.
We have also developed a comprehensive and extensive guidebook that provides information for a great number of local services to ensure the above needs are properly met. These resources are made available to those incarcerated, recently released, and their families as well as others expressing need in the community.
In addition to introducing opportunities for incarcerated individuals to enhance their decision-making capabilities, parenting skills, and trauma responses, OCCJA updated their internal policy to allow for interactive parental visitation, which has allowed many inmates to spend quality time with their families and begin practicing their newly learned abilities under the guidance of trained professionals. One child, a fouryear-old, was reconnected with her mother after not seeing her for three years. Siblings have been reconnected with one another and grandparents have been able to visit and resume interaction with their children and grandchildren.
To date, OCCJA in partnership with CREOKS offers three specific programs to inmates and those released from custody. The Parenting in Jail classes meet all four of SAMHSA’s major dimensions of recovery by enabling participants to engage in healthy familial relationships, improving personal mental health and home stability, as well as restoring their sense of purpose and overall community. Moral Reconation Therapy helps participants enhance their decision-making skills and moral reasoning, thereby reducing occurrences of substance use, abuse, and relapse. Seeking Safety is a program for those suffering from trauma and substance use and abuse that assists in reaching a level of safety in both their sense of self and their personal relationships.
If you would like more information on Okmulgee County Consortium or our efforts in the community, please email OkmulgeeCountyConsortium@gmail.com or you can find us on Facebook. The Okmulgee County Resource Guide is available to anyone needing to find local services and they can be picked up at CREOKS, the Okmulgee Times office or by sending an email request to the above address.