About Us

Mission Statement

Our goal is to stop the school to prison pipeline in Oklahoma for young men by providing necessary survival skills and services, facilitating the need for career opportunities and instilling positive behavior change for lifetime success.

Letter From The Director

Change Through Empowerment

​”You don’t get over an addiction by stopping using.  You recover by creating a new life.  Where it is easier to not use.  If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will catch up with you again., “Steven Melemis.

With the United States being the number one (1) incarcerator of its citizens in the world the problem is obvious.  The solution is also obvious, criminal justice reform.  As crime rates fall and incarceration rates rise alternative answers to mass incarceration is a must.

The 1st Step Male Diversion Program is a substantial step to relieving our overcrowded prisons and returning sober, rehabilitated citizens to our communities.
1st Step takes motivated non-violent offenders and provides holistic support to the prison-bound non-violent offender allowing him to succeed in living a sober and productive life and eliminating a life of crime.

– David Phillips

1st Step Graduation

“The first three 1st Step graduates were honored at the Tulsa County Court House on February 21, 2019. Justin, Chris and Miguel are on their way to a productive life thanks to our innovative approach to changing criminal behavior. These three young men are the first of many more to come.” 
“The youngest member of our 1st Step Family is able to enjoy Halloween with her Dad, who is re-building his life with the help of our compassionate and professional team.”

“A number of our participants were fortunate enough to have tickets donated to a recent Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game. For most, it was their first exposure to a professional athletic event. These are the kinds of experiences which reinforce the value of living a normal life as a free and responsible citizen. (And the Thunder won the game!).”

 “Some of our 1st Step Participants are fathers of young children. Halloween was as important to them as it is to every parent. It is part of the new life they are learning to enjoy”.

Rob Nigh House

The 1st Step residence, which houses 7 of our young men, was officially dedicated in a reception and ceremony on September 27. The house was officially named the “Rob Nigh House” in honor of one of 1st Step’s founders, former Tulsa County Chief Public Defender, Robert Nigh who died in 2017. Members of the Board are gathered in on the front porch and guests and many of Rob Nigh’s family members are shown in the living room. This residence fulfills a dream of Rob and a key goal of 1st Step: to give young men a place to live free of the strife and negativity in which they so often had to endure in their early years.

House Dedication

1st Step Garden

1st Step @ the Ball Game

Christmas Banquet

1st Step Participant Baby Shower

Over 13,000 people are incarcerated in Oklahoma for non-violent crimes.

The 1st Step Male Diversion Program will save Oklahoma taxpayers money by helping men beat their addiction problems and reducing recidivism. It will preserve families, reduce prison populations and return productive young men to our community. Support us with a generous donation to help save young men’s lives

First Step Male Diversion Program
321 S. Frankfort Ave., Tulsa, OK  74120