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Ex-offender earns new job and respect at ODOC

Thursday, April 25, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla -- Sometimes life’s journeys take a few unexpected detours. Kimberley Scott recalled, “It was the worst period in my life. It wasn’t a day. It was a season.”

Kimberly Scott was a single soccer mom, desperately trying to avoid a financial cliff. “Finances got tight so I robbed Peter to pay Paul.” She said, “Once that snowball starts it’s hard to get it stopped. It spiraled out of control.”

It was a rapid downward spiral of self-destruction. One bogus check after another that ultimately lead to a felony conviction and 5 year prison sentence. Scott said, “My biggest concern was my children. They had been my life for so many years and I was not going to be there anymore.”

But the Department of Corrections is the agency of second chances. And Kimberley got hers right next door at Oklahoma Correctional Industries. She said, “They believed in me. They believed I deserved a second chance. I started at OCI as a clerk. Files, cleaning up, answering phones, little things like that. Then director Justin Farris worked it out where I could do my work release here.”

Scott is now an ERP special assistant. That’s a fancy way of saying she has been given a lot of responsibility. Here – she’s not an ex-offender, but a respected coworker. According to Scott, “The one thing that schooling or on the job training can’t give you is confidence and self-esteem back that happens from the shame and the guilt of the crimes you did commit. And staff at OCI has done that for me. The culture that director Farris and his team has developed her makes everyone feel valuable. Just them believing in you helps you believe in yourself again.”

Kimberley’s journey has endured some detours. But with the Department of Corrections guiding her past the potholes, her life is finally back on track.

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