Family & Children’s Services (F&CS) and the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) congratulated the 12th graduating class of Women in Recovery (WIR) during a special event at Aloft Tulsa Downtown today. Twenty-two women graduated from the alternative to incarceration program. This class brings the total number of Women in Recovery graduates to 168 since the program began in July 2009.

One important aspect of WIR is reunifying participants with their children and families. In total, WIR has helped 320 women and 729 children. The graduates celebrated today have a combined total of 62 children.

“I am so very proud and grateful to stand here before you today as a graduate and ambassador of this outstanding program that saved my life,” said Erin Garrison, WIR program graduate. “Thank you so much to my family, my continued and undying pillar of support, I love you all so much.”

WIR is an alternative to incarceration program for nonviolent female offenders with alcohol and drug addictions in Tulsa County. This program,which includes overone year of intensive treatment and services, provides participants with the assistance to overcome their addiction and successfully return to their families and communities. WIR is funded by GKFF and operated by F&CS in Tulsa.

The Honorable Judge William Kellough, Chief of the Criminal Division gav ethe introduction at the ceremony, and Police Chief Chuck Jordan was the featured speaker. “Congratulations to another incredible group of graduates,” said Jordan. “It’s such a joy to watch these brave women take steps to better their lives and brighten their futures.”

In order to qualify for WIR, the women must be 18 years of age or older, involved in the criminal justice system and of imminent risk of incarceration, ineligible for other diversion services or courts and must have a history of substance abuse. Women with children have a high priority for program admission.

“We are pleased to continue providing more women the tools they need to make positive changes for themselves and their families,” said Mimi Tarrasch, director of WIR at F&CS. “We hope to continue growing the program and inspiring positive changes in the families we serve.”

In order to graduate all participants must be drug and alcohol-free, crime-free, employed, actively participating in community recovery support, engaged in reunification plans with their children and meeting all legal and court requirements. WIR includes an aftercare program and three-year followup evaluation provided by the University of Tulsa.

Read about the graduation in the Tulsa World.

Group Photo

Learn more about Women in Recovery by clicking HERE.