8.1. Policy. The fundamental policy and purpose of the Program is to provide achievable educational, physical, social and psychological components to reduce the risk of participant re-offending, attacking substance use problems and creating opportunities for a successful and meaningful life. These components are referred to as program elements and all participants are required to engage in them unless, in the well supported opinion of the Executive Director, Executive, a program is not necessary (eg. drug or alcohol counseling and treatment). Programs may occur consecutively or concurrently depending on the needs of the participant. Progress and completion will be determined by the Executive Director in consultation with the program provider.


8.2. Developmental Life Skills Training. Human growth and development passes through stages of maturation. Participants in the Program are at a stage in which they are developing from juveniles to adults; and they need developmental support elements grounded in evidence-based research and delivered through evidence -based practices so that delays in social, emotional and ethical development may be overcome and recovery form substance-use disorders and reversal of anti-social thought patterns can take place. The Program will provide professionally trained and experienced counselors to teach the participants, and the participants will practice, the cognitive and behavioral skill sets to learn to achieve and continue with natural and positive growth and development stages. Participants will also learn to cope with remission and setbacks which are predictable.


8.2.1. Individualized Case Management Plan Based on Assessment. As stated in Section 4.5 an individual Case Management Plan is essential for sequencing and monitoring the program elements that will be provided for the development of stage of life appropriate skills, attitudes and cognitive functioning. The Plan is described in previous section 4.5. All teachers, mentors and counselors will use this Plan as the basis for the educational and counseling components provided to the participants. The Executive Director or Case Manager will monitor the execution of the Plan using evidence-based measures of progress and implementation.


8.2.2. Individual and Group Education. Each Participant will receive education and counseling as part of his Plan. These components will be provided by a licensed counselor, psychologist or therapist experienced in addressing the needs of young adults with criminal charges, pending or past, and with substance use disorder and/or anti-social behavior. The term of this component will be based on the needs of the participant is flexible and will be based on the results of monitoring measures of progress. The cost of this component will be borne by the Program and will be reasonable based on standard rates charged in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


8.2.3. Reliable Educational Curricula. The educational curricula and material used by the Program providers will be appropriate for the goals of the participant’s Plan as written or adapted as necessary. Curricula, including materials, will be approved by the Executive Director in consultation with the Policies and Procedures Committee.


8.2.4. Individual Mental Health Counseling. If required by the Plan, the Program will arrange for individual one-on-one therapeutic counseling by a licensed mental health clinician or counselor with demonstrated effective outcomes in addressing clients with similar mental and/or behavioral issues as the participants in the Program. The cost of such counseling will be borne by the Program and will be reasonable based on standard rates charged in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although payment shall be the responsibility of the Program, nonetheless, the confidentiality between mental health clinician or counselor and client shall be maintained unless waived in writing by the Participant.


8.3. Intensive Drug and Alcohol Treatment. If the Plan requires it, or if an emergency arises after the Plan has been adopted, a participant may need to be admitted for inpatient detoxification and/or intensive inpatient or outpatient treatment for substance use disorder or overdose. The Program will assist the participant in finding reimbursement options for such treatment. If there are no reasonable reimbursement options, the cost of such treatment will be borne by the Program at a facility in Oklahoma which is licensed and has an evidence-based outcome of success in treating substance abuse disorders in populations similar to the participants. The location, duration and conditions for such treatment shall be determined by the Executive Director, with the consent of the participant and in consultation with the provider of education and counseling. If the participant declines such treatment against the advice of the provider recommending treatment and the Executive Director, such refusal may be grounds for termination from the Program.   


8.4. Serious Mental Illness Treatment. Participants with serious mental illness will be excluded from the Program. Mild to moderate mental illness such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder are expected to be diagnosed or to develop in the course of program participation. The Program will assist the participant in finding payment options for such treatment. If there are no reasonable options available, the cost of such treatment will be borne by the Program for an appropriate Oklahoma licensed mental health provider with successful outcomes in treating mental illnesses in a population similar to the participants in the Program. The location, duration and conditions of the treatment shall be determined by the Executive Director, with the consent of the participant and in consultation with the  mental health provider. If the participant declines such treatment, against the advice of the mental health provider and the Executive Director, such refusal may be grounds for termination from the Program.


8.5. Job Skills and Training. Job training and employment skills are critical components of the Program. These components will be provided by organizations experienced in assisting young men ral problems similar to those of the participants. Examples of organizations operating in the Tulsa County area are: Workforce Tulsa, Tulsa Reentry One-Stop and Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO). The Plan will provide the nature, conditions  and duration of the job skills training. Such training and part time employment will begin as soon as practicable after entry into the Program. It is anticipated that every participant will be fully employed in a meaningful, career path, job as a condition to graduation from the Program; provided that, unemployment for reasons beyond the control of the participant shall not disqualify him from graduation. The Program shall also encourage and facilitate advanced training in a trade, technical skill or other educational option through Tulsa Community College (TCC), Tulsa Technical University (TTU) or other approved institution of higher education. Whenever possible, the Program will advise and attempt to secure scholarships and/or low cost and reasonable student loans for participants. 


8.6. Employment. An important part of male recovery is work. Work and self worth are closely related. Lack of work can lead to idleness and psychological depression. The Program will use resources and encouragement to ensure that all participants are employed at meaningful and upwardly mobile work. Wages earned by participants remain their own and they will be responsible for tax reporting and payment. However, the Program may require a payment or retention of a stipulated percentage of earnings not to exceed 10% as a way to encourage savings or, if required to reimburse the Program for the expenses incurred in rehabilitation and support. The amount, duration and manner of payment shall be established by the Executive Committee from time to time.


8.7. Community Service. Participants are expected to perform community service for either approved non-profit organizations or government agencies through the entirety of the Program. The amount and nature of the assigned community service will depend on Case specific considerations. The Executive Director or Case Manager will schedule community service projects and monitor the participants’ progress. At times, community service will be used as a penalty sanction. However, the intent of the service is to teach the participants the importance of giving back to the community even under circumstances in which they are receiving social and community assistance.


8.8. Mentorship. All participants will be assigned a male mentor early in Phase I. Mentors will be identified, interviewed, screened and trained under the direction of the Executive Director working with a Board Committee devoted to mentoring. Mentors will be screened for suitability with a background check from a recognized law enforcement organization. Mentors will be drawn from two general categories: (a) men who have had experience and successfully overcome either substance use problems or criminal charges or both, and (b) men who have qualities of maturity, responsibility, community service, sobriety or business or professional success, which can be passed along to younger men participating in the program. The following principles will control the mentor-mentee relationship:

8.7.1. Regular mentor-mentee contact is required through either social, sports, leisure activity or simple one-on-one contact.

 8.7.2. Mentors will not provide legal advice or professional counseling but are chosen for their ability to relate and interact with participants to establish trust and friendship.

8.7.3. Mentor-mentee communication regarding any law or Program violations is not confidential. This fact must be disclosed to the participants at the outset of the relationship.

8.7.4. Mentors are not intended to replace but rather to supplement AA or NA sponsors.

 8.7.5. Mentors who own or operate businesses may employ their mentees so long as they do not directly supervise them and provide standard wages and benefits.

8.7.6.  Other rules and guidelines for mentorship will be established by the Mentor Committee and approved by the Board.


8.9. Education. Two types of educational opportunities are fundamental elements of the Program: high school GED completion and higher education.

8.9.1. Participants who have not attained either a high school diploma or GED certificate will work during the Program to achieve a GED. Attendance in high school classes will not be practicable. If any Participant has not attained his GED at before completion of the Program, attending necessary GED classes or taking classes online and successful completion of the examination shall be the subject of aftercare supervision; unless, in the judgement of the Executive Director, these educational effort will be impossible or unreasonably burdensome.

8.9.2. On a case by case basis, Participants will be encouraged to take courses and attain educational achievement beyond high school. The Program will at all times maintain meaningful partnerships and affiliations with local educational institutions such as Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Tech and other private certificate programs. Attendance at a full time student in a college or university is a possible alternative so long as the Participant completes all other elements of the Program required in the Case Plan.


8.10. Health and Wellness. The physical health of Participants is an important concern and positive and specific recommendations will be addressed in the Case Plan.

8.10.1.The Program will create opportunities for regular exercise, sports activities and education to teach healthy lifestyle choices and habits, including nutrition, dental care and regular physical examinations.

8.10.2.The Program will assist all Participants in obtaining  health insurance available through either Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, Indian Health Services or employment or other sources.

 8.10.3. Severe illness or injury may result in suspension or termination of a Participant from the Program. Such termination shall only occur after consultation among all providers having contact with the Participant and the Case Worker and Executive Director. The Program shall use best efforts to obtain a court order which will maintain the diversionary status of the Participant without any penalty or sanction on account of illness or injury. Accommodation will be made to for any Participant to re-enter the Program after illness or injury is no longer a barrier to completion.

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