TULSA - More than 500 inmates will have to figure out their next steps after they're released in the Oklahoma's commutations.
These next steps really are crucial in helping them plan for their future that will not only lead them to success but keep them from going back into the system.
Before the inmates were released, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections held transition fairs at two of the prisons.
Here inmates could meet with organizations and programs like RICCT through Family and Children's Services to start planning their next steps once released.
The program's teams are designed to transition people with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders from prisons to mental health and substance abuse services.
They also help with their basic needs such as finding housing, food and clothing and employment.
Clinical supervisor Tricia Cox said businesses have come a long way through the years in hiring people with records.
"It used to just be fast food but there are so many manufacturing jobs and trade jobs available and that is so important," Cox said. "That can be a big barrier and it can be a huge stress. People are defeated before they even start applying because they feel like everybody is just going to tell them no."
The program helps meet their mental needs also by setting them up with individual and group therapy.
Another issue many of the people released have to deal with is settling court costs and setting up probation.
RICCT will help with that as well.
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