Admission Process

4.1.  Policy. The process by which participants in the Program are selected shall be clearly expressed and followed in all cases. Deviation from the Program Admission Procedures shall occur only upon Board approval and the Court and be based on unique circumstances. It is the policy of the Program to be highly selective so that likely candidates can be expected to achieve its goals and objectives.


4.2. Criteria for Admission. Prospective participants must: (a) be charged with, or on probation or a deferred judgment, for one or more felony crimes in Tulsa County District Court; (b)  have committed the last of the pending offenses while age 18 to 25; (c) be a non-violent offender, as defined in Section 4.2.1, both as to the current pending case(s) and any previous charge or case incurred while the applicant was an adult; (d) be considered prison bound as defined in Section 4.2.1; (e) be assessed pursuant to the Intake process described in Section 4.3 which establishes a high or moderate likelihood for risk of re-offending and no observable barriers to achievement as defined in Section 4.2.1of Program goals and objectives; (f) be interviewed and approved by the Executive Director based on the likelihood of successful completion; g) plead guilty, or no contest or confess to an application to revoke probation as to the pending cases; (h) be approved for the Program by the court(s) having jurisdiction over all pending cases.


4.2.1. Definitions. The term “non-violent offender” shall mean an applicant whose pending case(s) is not one of the offenses listed in Okla. Stat. tit. 21, 13.1. The term “prison bound” as applied to an applicant shall mean either that: (a) the District Attorney has recommended imprisonment as a condition to a plea to any of the pending cases or confession to an application to revoke probation, or, (b) in the judgment of the Executive Director, the applicant, if submitting a blind plea to the court of either guilty or no contest, would likely be sentenced to imprisonment. The term “barriers to achievement” shall include, but not be limited to, serious mental illness, lack of motivation, past violent behavior and intellectual deficiency.


4.3. Intake. Potential applicants shall be referred to the Executive Director for Intake. The Executive Director shall conduct or arrange for the administration of three assessments, unless modified by the Executive Committee based on the availability of procedures more likely to better screen applicants for success. First, the applicant shall be screened by a trained professional using the Ohio Risk Assessment System (“ORAS”). The applicant must score High or Medium risk. Second, the applicant shall be screened by a licensed professional based on biological, psychological and social criteria (Bio-Psych-Social). Third, the Executive Director shall interview the applicant to determine that there are no observable barriers to achievement of the goals and objectives of the Program. The Application Package currently in use is attached hereafter as Ex. A. So long as the Admission Policies and Procedures are not modified, the documents in the Admission Package may be amended from time to time in the discretion of the Executive Director.


4.4. Court Approval. The Tulsa County District Judge assigned to the active, pending felony case(s) shall approve admission into the Program at the time of entering a plea or confession of an application to revoke a suspended or deferred sentence.  Except in an unusual and necessary situation, Participants shall plead either guilty or no-contest to the pending charges and the case(s) shall be passed for periodic review and final sentencing to dates and times set by the Court.


4.4.1. Whenever possible, the plea subject to Program completion, shall be pursuant to a plea agreement with the District Attorney.  However, “blind pleas” may be used to facilitate entry into the Program if the District Attorney will not agree to a plea arrangement but there is a high likelihood that the Court will approve entry into the Program.

4.4.2. Whenever a Participant has cases pending in other divisions of the Tulsa County District Court or outside of Tulsa County, the Executive Director shall, in cooperation with the Participant’s defense counsel, ensure that the other cases are either concurrently and consistently pled or held in abeyance until the completion of the Program and the Tulsa County active, pending cases.  The pendency of out-of-state and federal cases, which are not held in abeyance,  shall prohibit entry into the Program unless satisfactory arrangements relating to them are approved by the Executive Committee.

4.4.3. The Program shall not pay for nor advance funds for court costs, fines or legal fees incurred by any Participant.


4.5. Case Management Plan. The Executive Director or Case Manager shall prepare a detailed Case Management Plan (“Plan”) designed for each participant, taking into account individual needs and goals. The elements for the Plan, to be selected for each participant on a case specific basis,  are shown on Ex. B attached hereafter. So long as the scope of the Plan is consistent with the Goals, Objectives and Strategies for each phase of the Program, its elements may modified at the discretion of the Executive Director and Executive Committee. The process for preparation of the Plan shall be as follows:

4.5.1. The Participant and Case Manager or Executive Director shall meet and confer on the specific program components of the Plan and a relevant timetable, taking into account the individual needs of the participant and the practicalities involved in implementation. Participant personal responsibility for the Plan is an important consideration.

 4.5.2. In structuring the Plan and selecting program components the following values and goals, at a minimum,  shall be addressed: (a) preservation and enhancement of public safety, (b) preparing the participant for a successful return to independent living, (c) addressing the risk and needs of the participant, (d)  encouraging the participant to take responsibility for criminal behavior, (d) encouraging community involvement, (e) connecting the participant to helpful and appropriate resources, (f) building upon the participant’s strengths and assets, and (g) providing for the most effective educational or therapeutic

 program to minimize or eliminate antisocial attitudes, antisocial associates, negative temperament and personality factors and negative parental factors.

4.5.3.The participant shall carefully review the Plan and acknowledge acceptance in writing. The participant, each provider of services and the court shall be given a copy of the Plan and a copy shall remain in the individual case file; provided that, the Plan shall be a confidential document. It shall be accessed only on an as needed basis and only with prior approval of the Executive Director. The Plan shall be disclosed to third parties only if the Executive Director believes that disclosure is in the best interest of the participant.


4.6. Orientation. Each Participant shall be given an orientation by the Executive Director or Case Manager. At a minimum, orientation shall consist of the following steps:

4.6.1. The Executive Director or Case Manager shall deliver and explain to the participant the Participant Handbook which provides a summary of the Program. The Participant Handbook shall be prepared by the Executive Director with approval by the Executive Committee.

4.6.2. The participant shall approve and execute all releases and waivers of confidentiality,  including a waiver as to use of data relating to the participant for research, as may be required.

4.6.3. The participant will be asked to sign a media waiver allowing the Program to use his photo, name and activities for media and publication purposes. This waiver is strictly voluntary.

4.6.4.The participant will be introduced to his counselor and be provided a counseling session schedule and participation expectations.

4.6.5.The participant will move into the designated residence provided by the Program, meet with the House Manager and be instructed on the particular house rules applicable to that residence.

 4.6.5. The participant will be introduced to the security team; and the requirements for monitoring and security will be explained.  

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