Finding affordable housing is one of the most difficult barriers faced by Oklahomans with a felony conviction in their past. Yet Oklahoma’s major public housing assistance programs frequently exclude people with felony records, and even those who have been arrested without being charged, from getting help.
Oklahoma has the second highest incarceration rate in the country, up from fourth highest in 2012, with approximately 1,310 out of every 100,000 of our citizens incarcerated in 2014. The state appropriated $485 million to the Department of Corrections in FY 2016, but even that amount was not enough to cope with increasingly overcrowded and understaffed prisons. Meanwhile, the state’s prison population continues Continue Reading »
Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. You can sign up on his website to receive the Capitol Updates newsletter by email. One might assume that with a near $1 billion budget deficit for next year added to revenue failures in the current fiscal Continue Reading »
Over 1,700 bills and resolutions have been introduced for the 2016 legislative session, along with an equal number of measures from last session that remain alive and could still be considered this year. Despite the plethora of legislation, there is little doubt that this session will be dominated by debates over how to address the state’s massive budget shortfall, which Continue Reading »
- Every sentence is a life sentence: 3 barriers to life after prison
- Oklahoma’s mandatory minimum punishments too often don’t fit the crime
- Oklahoma Needs More Criminal Justice Reform
- Action Items for Oklahoma: Criminal Justice