Tuesday, March 29, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2016
Governor Mary Fallin Tours Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity Inmate Program
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin toured Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity’s (COHFH) inmate program contracted through the Department of Human Services today at the Central Oklahoma Habitat headquarters located at 5005 S I-35 Service Rd. in Oklahoma City.
“Programs like this must be part of our approach to criminal justice. We must show offenders that there are other choices than returning to crime once they are released from prison,” said Fallin. “This Habitat for Humanity program teaches inmates important skills, while benefitting an organization that works to provide much-needed homes for low-income residents.”
The COHFH Inmate Program is a Department of Corrections (DOC) Prisoners Public Work Program (PPWP), which allows inmates assigned to community corrections centers and community work centers to learn a skill or trade outside of the facility.
The PPWP crews are contracted through state agencies, which work with local organizations.
For the COHFH project, approximately 10 inmates work seven hours a day, five days a week at a warehouse onsite constructing components used to build homes.
DOC Interim Director Joe M. Allbaugh said the program is beneficial and is allowing inmates to get the opportunity to do more with their lives once they leave custody.
“Working with the Department of Human Services to give inmates an opportunity to learn a skill or trade to better the community is a win-win,” said Allbaugh. “Inmates who leave custody with a skill are more likely to find a job or career and are less likely to end up back in state custody. I appreciate the governor’s support, also the support of Central Oklahoma Habitat, and the Department of Human Services for giving these men an opportunity.”
Warehouse and Logistics Manager Mike Brown, who oversees the program at COHFH, says the inmates’ work is vital for the organization to accomplish the mission of building new homes for Oklahomans in need, and gives inmates an opportunity to earn money, and turn a skill into a career.
“We have been giving inmates opportunities some have never had before,” said Brown. “When they leave the program they have helped not only themselves but also people in need.”