An honors high school graduate, Brooke Larson never thought that within a decade she would be a drug addict facing a 10-year prison sentence. An addict in prison, Larson never expected she would someday be sitting next to Oklahoma's governor and shaking her hand at the state Capitol.
Larson, 32, was among 18 women who recently completed the Women in Recovery program, an alternative to incarceration for nonviolent women in Tulsa County who have alcohol and drug addictions. It is the program's sixth graduating class.
Fallin told the graduates and more than 100 attending Wednesday's ceremony that Oklahoma ranks first in the nation with the rate of incarcerated nonviolent female offenders.
“With programs like Women in Recovery, we are starting to buck that trend, save lives and families in the process,” Fallin said. “This being the largest graduating class in the program's history shows that these women are dedicated to a life that is substance-free and ready to contribute to
Fallin said her mother often consoled her when she faced personal struggles and challenges by telling her that she wasn't the first to face such problems.
“You're not the first,
“God allows U-turns,” she said. “You've made that U-turn in life and today is a celebration of your new life, of your recovery, of your commitment to have a different life, to give your children a better
House Speaker Kris Steele has proposed sweeping changes to state corrections policy the past two years. The changes are intended to alleviate prison overcrowding, in part by sending nonviolent drug offenders to alternative sentencing programs such as Women in Recovery. Steele told the graduates they could learn from
“When they designed the car for us to drive, you know that they make the windshield great big and the rearview mirror is relatively small in comparison,” said Steele, R-
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