TAFT, Okla. – Eddie Warrior Correctional Center has long been considered the pinnacle of women’s prisons.
“In 1986 it was transferred to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections,” Deputy Warden Margaret Roper said. “Our strategy is to encourage positive change in inmate behavior by promoting successful re-entry and rehabilitation programs.”
Eddie Warrior offers a medley of programs. From forklift skills to in-depth bible study, there are endless opportunities for these returning citizens to grow.
“It’s really a great opportunity for these women,” Eddie Warrior Chaplain Regina Beed said. “One of our greatest highlights is we have a card shop. We are able to donate to missionary fields and we have a women’s shelter out of Muskogee we sponsor.”
Eddie Warrior is so well respected, an International dignitary recently travelled from Zimbabwe to Taft, Oklahoma just to see how the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is empowering women.
“Her mission is to come here and see the success we have with programming in ODOC and to be able to share that with the Zimbabwe justice system and to empower women there,” Reentry Director Cathy Hodges said.
Dr. Beauty Rita Nyampinga was a political prisoner who became a defender of inmate rights.
“What I am seeing here is so different in Oklahoma from the setup we have in Zimbabwe,” Dr. Nyampinga said. “But the message and the work that we do is to uplift the spirits of these women.”
The activist was chosen as a 2020 “International Woman of Courage” for her passionate work helping inmates.
“They don’t have this kind of space where they can develop themselves educationally,” Nyampinda said. “All they do is wake up, do their chores and go to bed.”
Dr. Nyampinda intends to return home, armed with what she’s learned here, and fight for better treatment of Zimbabwe’s incarcerated.