Oct 2 2023
Beyond Incarceration: From Hopelessness to Healing
"Beyond Incarceration: A Journey from Hopelessness to Healing" with Sonya McDonald, a remarkable Women in Recovery graduate who shares her personal story of overcoming adversity and addiction, finding hope, and transforming her life.For almost 30 years, Oklahoma stood at the forefront of this issue nationwide. While currently ranked third, the state still exceeds the national average by twofold. Many women who end up incarcerated have faced a history of trauma, abuse, and limited access to education and economic opportunities. A significant proportion have struggled with substance abuse or mental health issues, often stemming from untreated trauma. Addressing these underlying issues and providing comprehensive support systems is crucial in breaking the pathway to female incarceration and today's guest knows firsthand about these issues. Our guest today is Sonya McDonald. She grew up in a violent home where she endured several types of abuse. She started experimenting with drugs and alcohol at age 13, and by age 19 was in a full-blown addiction. By 23, she was convicted of a felony, and by the time she was in her late thirties, she was homeless, and she felt completely hopeless. She desperately needed to address the many underlying issues that were the result of many traumatic events that occurred, but she didn't know how or where to start. Then she was accepted into Family & Children's Services' Women in Recovery program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Women in Recovery, also known as WIR, is an intensive outpatient alternative to incarceration for eligible women facing long-term prison sentences for drug-related offenses. WIR uses a whole-person approach to address the multiple needs of a woman by developing a pathway of opportunity with comprehensive services and removing barriers, ultimately avoiding incarceration. By working with the criminal justice system and utilizing evidence-based curriculums, women conquer their addiction, recover from trauma, address mental illness, and acquire the essential economic, emotional, and social tools to build successful and productive lives. Sonya graduated from Women in Recovery in 2015, and she currently works as a program coordinator at Tulsa Lawyers for Children. Support and stay connected to us. First, be sure to hit that subscribe button wherever you're listening to us. Subscribing ensures you never miss an episode, and it's absolutely free. It also helps us continue bringing you quality content.Consider leaving us a review. Your reviews not only make our day, but they also help others discover the podcast and join our community.Share this episode with your friends, family, and anyone who might find it interesting. Word of mouth is a powerful way to grow our podcast family, and we truly appreciate your support.We're always eager to hear your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for future episodes. Visit www.okstateofmind.com for all of our episodes. You can also email us at email@example.com with any episode ideas or questions. We'd love to connect with you.Thank you once again for accompanying us on the journey. Until next time!