“Oklahomans voted to reclassify certain nonviolent offenses — like simple drug possession and low-level property offenses — as misdemeanors, freeing up tens of millions of dollars a year to reinvest in more drug and mental health treatment. But the story’s ending is not written yet. The real work has just started. Nothing will change if the improvements voters endorsed are not properly implemented and expanded. As exciting as Tuesday’s victory was, successful implementation will be an even bigger lift than succeeding at the polls.”

-Kris Steele, Chairman of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, on the passage of SQ 780 and SQ 781 and the coming challenge of implementing the new laws (Source). OK Policy’s fact sheet on the two state questions is available here.


Ryan Gentzler worked at OK Policy from January 2016 until November 2022. He last served as the organization's Reserach Director and oversaw Open Justice Oklahoma. He began at OK Policy as an analyst focusing on criminal justice issues, including sentencing, incarceration, court fines and fees, and pretrial detention. Open Justice Oklahoma grew out of Ryan’s groundbreaking analysis of court records, which was used to inform critical policy debates. A native Nebraskan, he holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College. He served as an OK Policy Research Fellow in 2014-2015.

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