Recent Articles

Oklahoma’s juvenile crime and incarceration rates plummet, but we must address deep racial disparities

Despite these promising developments, black and brown youth are still disproportionately represented in Oklahoma’s juvenile justice system. [More...]

Track Oklahoma’s prison population with Open Justice Oklahoma’s new dashboard

The Oklahoma DOC Tracker, a tool released today by Open Justice Oklahoma, aims to bridge the gap in information by providing convenient access to the most current data about our state's incarceration crisis and allowing comparisons to other states and to benchmarks like the national average. [More...]

Money bail costs vulnerable communities and county governments millions of dollars each year. Passing SB 252 could change that.

Oklahomans who are arrested for nonviolent offenses often spend several weeks in local and county jails because they're unable to afford to post money bond, incurring steep costs with little benefit to public safety. A new study of court records by Open Justice Oklahoma finds that the harmful effects of money bail are felt across the state, though differing policies across counties create deep disparities in the likelihood and length of pretrial detentions. [More...]

The Oklahoma City Police Department shows the promise of local justice reform

Most discussions about criminal justice in Oklahoma center on our prison system, which is responsible for maintaining our highest-in-the-world incarceration rate but is dangerously underfunded. While our high incarceration rate may be the most pressing issue, law enforcement agencies are the… Read more [More...]

In its first year, SQ 780 reversed 10 years of growth in felony filings

New data shows that State Question 780 reduced felony filings by over 14,000 across Oklahoma’s District Courts in its first year in a major realignment of how the state deals with low-level offenses. SQ 780, approved by voters by a… Read more [More...]

In The Know: More women reach for the legislature; Feds claw back more Medicaid money; audits will cost state $1.4 million

In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions. [Today is the… Read more [More...]

The official SQ 780 savings calculation rests on flawed assumptions

Two years ago, Oklahoma voters passed State Questions 780 and 781, together known as the Smart Justice Reform Act. SQ 780 reclassified simple drug possession and many low-level property crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies. SQ 781 directs the Office of… Read more [More...]

In The Know: State Superintendent ignores executive order on school consolidation; Oklahoma’s Medicaid work requirements plan is a dangerous experiment

In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions. [Time is running… Read more [More...]

Accepting our highest-in-the-world incarceration rate means believing that Oklahomans are the worst people

We knew the day would come when Oklahoma surpassed Louisiana as the highest-incarcerating state in the highest-incarcerating country in the world. After Louisiana’s legislature passed a sweeping criminal justice reform package in 2017, Oklahoma Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said that… Read more [More...]

On immigration rhetoric, consider the facts

Undocumented Oklahomans are woven into the fabric of our communities in countless ways. Many have lived here for decades as they raise U.S.-born children, and they often work difficult, labor-intensive jobs that few legal residents will take. As the race… Read more [More...]