Home  /  News  /  Newsroom

#MakingADifference - “That’s why I do what I do”

#MakingADifference - “That’s why I do what I do”

#MakingADifference - Marcia ManningMarcia Manning and her husband, Bud, started volunteering in Oklahoma prisons in 1997, drawn by the opportunity to give inmates the chance to leave their pasts behind and change their lives. 

The two, with Penn Avenue Redemption United Methodist Church, have been doing prison-based ministry ever since. 

“Inmates are human beings who have made some serious mistakes in their lives,” Marcia Manning says. “They have been given a chance to change their lives in prison and start living for the better … They don’t have to stay the way they have been.” 

Her husband, a former inmate himself, got her involved when he learned that a program he took in prison, The I Can Program, was being expanded to other facilities. 

It had helped him a great deal, so he wanted to help, too, and Marsha says she joined him. They started by working with inmates inside James Crabtree Correctional Center, a medium-security prison for men in Helena.

Today, the Mannings and about 35 volunteers with the church put on classes for inmates in Oklahoma City-area community corrections centers.

Community corrections-level inmates are close to completing their sentences. Many are incarcerated for non-violent crimes linked to substance abuse or addiction.

Without help transitioning into society, they are more likely to end up back in prison.

The volunteers bring inmates to the church twice a week, feed them, and take them to classes and church services. The inmates can also use the church’s clothing closet for job interview attire.

The classes, which are gender-specific (Manning says men and women tend to distract each other when they’re in classes together, she laughs) include Thinking for a Change, Alcoholics Anonymous, Anger Management and Victims Impact.

Many of the inmates she works with haven’t experienced a lot of love in their life. Most of them grew up without positive role models.

Volunteering is a chance for Manning to show them God’s love, she says, and teach them a few skills they may not have picked up on their own, helping them “live the life they truly want to live.”

“That’s why I do what I do,” she says.

ODOC relies on thousands of volunteers like the Mannings to help its inmates transition from life in prison to life in the community.

Without the help of our volunteers, thousands of inmates wouldn’t get the assistance they need to successfully integrate into society.

Contact DOC

Main Location
3400 North Martin Luther King Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73111-4298

PO Box 11400
Oklahoma City, OK  73136-0400

Phone: (405) 425-2500
Fax: (405) 425-2578

Contact ODOC

In compliance with the reporting requirements of 74 O.S. 3106.4[C], this agency is making known that it stores name, birth date, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, biometric records, Social Security number, official state or government issued driver license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, and employer or taxpayer identification numbers.   The personally identifiable data is stored both electronically and in confidential paper files.  The data is shared in compliance with court orders and agreements with other government bodies.

Subscribe to DOC Updates!

 Email Updates 
To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Top Resources

Closed Records

Employment Verification (405) 425-2644

Sex and Violent Offender Registration

Victim Services

Community Outreach

Visitation Policy

Volunteer Opportunities

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Onelife at 800-559-9544 or the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Click here for more suicide awareness information.