“Rhonda's ministry and many like it... are a vital component to helping Oklahoma tackle our number one ranking in incarceration.”Governor Stitt
“We must believe in the power of second chances, of grace, and redemption.”Governor Stitt
“My eyes were opened to this issue on the campaign trail... when I met a lady named Rhonda.”Governor Stitt
In a Stitt administration, we will also work to address our ranking in incarceration. I want to take a moment to recognize Governor Mary Fallin for starting the hard work and beginning a much-needed conversation around this issue. Thank you, Governor.
My eyes were open to this issue while on the campaign trail a year ago in December when I met a lady named Rhonda. Rhonda runs a ministry in Claremore where she provides opportunity for women reentering society after prison and drug addiction.
Rhonda told me that her own incarceration saved her life from drugs, but she is sounding the alarm for the extreme length of prison time that women today are receiving for non-violent crimes in Oklahoma.
These sentences make reintegration into society much more challenging. They often destroy families and fall short in respecting the dignity, worth and potential of people who have made mistakes and need help.
Rhonda’s ministry – and many like it across our state – are a vital component to helping Oklahoma tackle our #1 ranking of incarceration. As a state, we must do better, and we must believe in the power of second chances, of grace and redemption. It will require us to step forward together as citizens, as churches, as job creators, as a government to bring meaningful change.
Rhonda, thank you for being here today.