Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Founder of Prison Mentor Program Has Passed

In Memory of

Patricia Ann Boatwright

February 2, 1935 - July 27, 2017

Patricia Ann Boatwright, 82, died Thursday, July 27 at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City.
She was born Feb. 2, 1935, in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Alfred Earl and Salina Louise (Forman) Williams.
On January 29, 1950 she married her soulmate Doyle J. Boatwright in Fort Worth Texas. They relocated to California in 1953 where they raised their family and Patricia was a successful real estate agent. She was a published writer and loved writing short stories and poetry. In 1991 they retired to Mcloud, Oklahoma.
Patricia was a member of the First Baptist Church in Mcloud and was active in community service. She was involved with the mentor program and was a volunteer chaplain at Mable Bassett Correctional Center. She was a founding member of G.I.F.T.S Charities Inc. Her first love was women's prison ministries.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years and her son, Donn Bay Boatwright.
Survivors include one daughter Denise Jene Grimes and Terry Edwards of Midwest City, daughter-in-law Irene Stephanie Boatwright of McLoud, granddaughter Alaina Donn (Grimes) Hall and Trevor Lloyd Hall of Oklahoma City, great-grandson Alexander Lloyd Hall of Oklahoma City, and treasured nephew Marc Carter Williams of Frisco, Texas.
Visitation will be Wednesday, August 2 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. Services will be held at 10:00 am Thursday at Resthaven Funeral Home, 44909 Highway 3, Shawnee OK. Rev. Matthew Halsted and Rev. Paul Calmes will officiate. Burial will be at Resthaven Memorial Park immediately following the service.
Memorial contributions may be made to G.I.F.T.S. Charities Inc. 212 E. Main St. Shawnee, OK 74801.
The Grimes and Hall families would like to thank Connie Yates, Heather Bien, and the staffs at both Excell Home Health Care and Mercy Hospital for their tender hands, warm hearts and loving spirit. You were an enormous comfort that will be treasured forever.
[pictured below ...Pat Boatwright on right with our director Virginia Brendle on left]

Monday, July 3, 2017

Oklahoma Corrections Report Details Overwhelmed System

The director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections stood before the Oklahoma Board of Corrections on Tuesday and described a prison system in crisis.
In a 58-page report delivered to the board at their monthly meeting, Joe Allbaugh and several department officials outlined for more than an hour issues that have been plaguing the state's criminal justice system for decades. Those problems, they told the board, are about to overwhelm the system. 
“We’re drawing that line in the sand, that at some point we’re going to be incapable of taking more prisoners in our existing system," Allbaugh said to reporters. 
The report showed aging facilities, low staffing, ever-increasing medical costs for aging inmates, flat budgeting and decreasing rates of paroles have all helped lead to a prison system that may soon reach a breaking point. 
“The seriousness of the situation is overwhelming," said Michael Roach, chairman of the board. 
The state's prison population has steadily risen for years, and Allbaugh announced in April that more than 62,000 inmates were in state custody, a record number for Oklahoma.
That figure included more than 26,000 inmates who were incarcerated in a state or private prison or halfway house. Another 1,700 were in county jails awaiting transfer to a state facility. Nearly 34,000 were outside prison walls, either on parole or probation or in a community supervision program or on GPS monitoring.
The department's budget has remained relatively flat for years now, and as the inmate population and the costs to house them continue to increase, funding must be stripped from other areas of the corrections budget.
“If you increase one slice of the pie, you decrease another, because the dollars are constant," said Laura Pittman, director of population, programs and strategic planning. 
The department has been plagued in recent years with crumbling infrastructure, largely due to the fact several state prisons are repurposed hospitals, schools and orphanages that are in some cases a century old. Pittman said the department has no room in the budget for emergency repair costs when something breaks down, such as busted water pipes or failing boiler systems.
Historically, the department has either stopped hiring to cut down on personnel costs or created temporary beds, Pittman said.
“It’s astronomical," said Scott Crow, chief of operations, describing the amount of ignored maintenance needs in prisons across the state. "I mean, there’s just been patchwork after patchwork just to keep it patched together."
As a result, Allbaugh said his department will have to rely less on temporary beds, which are often placed in areas reserved for activities and education programs. This not only eliminates program space, it can also decrease safety. 
Kameron Harvanek, warden at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown, said at one point he had inmates housed in the common area of the cell blocks, allowing them access to the security panel that opens the cell doors.
“They were able to access the cell blocks, and they’re able to let offenders leave their cells at any time they wanted to," he said. "So, even when we said lock down, there was no such thing as lock down.”
The population strain also means the department will have to begin discharging inmates sooner than planned. 
“I don’t think the public fully understands what we’re doing by putting people in the Department of Corrections and really forcing us into a decision to say who is being let out on the back end early," said board member Adam Luck. 
“What do we do? If the only answer is letting more people out on the back end, somehow that just doesn’t seem good enough," he said.
"Maybe five years from now we build another prison," Luck added. "But again I wonder, is that the best possible thing we can do?”
Allbaugh said the state is faced with a decision either to fix the department's funding, possibly through a special session, and build three new prisons to meet projected population growth or to reform its criminal justice system. Allbaugh estimates the cost of building three new facilities and staffing them at $1.9 billion.
“Either the (political) will (for criminal justice reform) will muster or we will have a serious event," Allbaugh said. "It’s going to happen one way or another. You can’t keep packing people into facilities that are decrepit and expect everybody to behave.”
Graham Lee Brewer 

Friday, June 16, 2017

 The Prison Cosmetology School first graduates and the rest of the first group in the school...So proud of all of them... Thanks to the Rise Program Inc for running this program and seeing lives changed. Answer to many prayers

Saturday, May 20, 2017

If you do prison ministry, you can order these free Bible Study
enrollment forms to hand out to the prisoners you serve. Or if you have
a loved one serving time, give them the address and they can enroll in the program. The program is very good, there are several courses each with various
lessons that go up to college level. Plus they will assign a volunteer to write to the inmate to help assist them as they progress in the studies.
Thanks to Crossroads Prison Ministies for their quality program for prisoners