Skip to Content

Join us in November for OKC and Tulsa release parties of our new book, Neglected Oklahoma!
You can find more info about the events here or purchase the book online here.

All articles by Ethan Rex

Food deserts are a big reason behind Oklahomans’ poor health

by | June 13th, 2016 | Posted in Healthcare, Poverty & Opportunity | Comments (1)

Ethan Rex was an OK Policy spring intern. He is a sociology senior at the University of Tulsa and a research assistant with Women in Recovery, an alternative to incarceration for eligible women convicted of non-violent, drug-related offenses.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced the nationwide closure of 154 stores, causing concerns over how people will have access to groceries. Of the 154 nationwide closures, 6 stores have shut down in Oklahoma. In two cities where closures occurred, Luther and Okemah, residents now face the reality of living in a food desert.

These recent shutdowns echo a similar closure of a Walmart store in Tulsa in April 2015, which created a food desert spanning most of north Tulsa. The shutdown of that Walmart sparked local discussion about food security for low income residents. Food deserts have serious health and economic implications, and it is important to understand the problems caused by food deserts in order to form effective policy to combat them.

continue reading Food deserts are a big reason behind Oklahomans’ poor health

Upcoming Event: Free public lecture discusses infant and toddler welfare

On Tuesday, May 10, from noon to 1pm, a free public presentation sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management will examine the child welfare system. The event, titled “Making the Invisible Visible: The Real Cost of Child Welfare for Infants and Toddlers in Oklahoma,” will be held at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105).

This session will examine the real cost of child welfare—both for families and our society as a whole—when the early mental health needs of infants and toddlers are not considered and prioritized from a promotion-prevention lens. Challenges and gaps within the child welfare system will be addressed as well as strategies to mitigate these challenges across the early childhood system of care. The lecture is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

continue reading Upcoming Event: Free public lecture discusses infant and toddler welfare

What happens when Oklahomans can’t legally drive to work or school

by | March 16th, 2016 | Posted in Criminal Justice | Comments (6)

Ethan Rex is an OK Policy intern. He is a sociology senior at the University of Tulsa and a research assistant with Women in Recovery, an alternative to incarceration for eligible women convicted of non-violent, drug-related offenses

If a problem related to mass incarceration can be found anywhere, it’s probably especially bad in Oklahoma. This state is second only to Louisiana in overall incarceration rates (1,310 per 100,000 people). The vast majority of these imprisoned Oklahomans will eventually be released back to the streets, and that means it is especially important for our state to ensure those leaving prison are able to reenter society.

Unfortunately, the recently incarcerated face substantial barriers to successfully rejoining society. Even though employment has been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood that a former inmate will fall back into crime, it is exceedingly difficult for ex-prisoners to find a job. In fact, it is estimated that the unemployment rate of formerly incarcerated people after one year may be as high as 60 percent.

continue reading What happens when Oklahomans can’t legally drive to work or school