Before 2016, stealing a smartphone in Oklahoma could be charged as a felony with the possibility of prison time. The passage of SQ 780 raised the felony theft threshold in Oklahoma from $500 to $1000, meaning a person has to steal something worth more than $1000 to be charged with felony larceny.
These changes went into effect in July 2017, and the early returns are very encouraging: statewide reports of theft fell in Oklahoma between 2016 and 2017. After SQ 780 reduced minor property crimes to misdemeanors, rates of theft continued to fall. Lower crime numbers, coupled with the sharp decline in felony filings strongly support the idea that smart justice reform can lead to both less crime and less punishment. These positive trends should help to sustain justice reform efforts as Oklahoma works to reduce its world-leading incarceration rate.
continue reading Property crime decreased in Oklahoma as SQ 780 reduced punishments