In The Know: ‘We don’t have a sentencing problem’ AG Jeff Sessions tells Oklahoma sheriffs in a rebuke of state reforms
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‘We don’t have a sentencing problem’ AG Jeff Sessions tells Oklahoma sheriffs in a rebuke of state reforms: Critics of criminal justice reforms approved by Oklahoma voters in November spent an hour Thursday railing against them before yielding the lectern to an apparent ally in their fight: America’s top law enforcement officer. “Despite the national surge in violent crime and the record number of drug deaths over the last two years, there is a move to even lighter sentences,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a gathering of the state’s sheriffs [NewsOK]. In message to Oklahoma sheriffs, Rep. Scott Biggs praised for stopping several criminal justice reform measures [The Frontier]. Misguided budget concerns sank criminal justice reform this year, but lawmakers have another shot in 2018 [OK Policy].
Budget shortfall could send thousands of drug court participants to prison: After hearing that their jobs might disappear and that their patients could end up in prison, several Oklahoma drug court officials and mental health providers said they have no intention to stay quiet. On Thursday, they told their staff members and patients that state-funded outpatient services could disappear before year’s end. …For the patients, that could mean no more support for drug addiction recovery, and worse, a prison sentence [Journal Record]. Latest state cuts ‘catastrophic,’ Tulsa mental health professionals say [Tulsa World]. Agencies grasping for new revenue might be able to delay a $215 million budget cut until 2018, Oklahoma Speaker of the House Charles McCall declared Thursday [NewsOK]. Although the Oklahoma Legislature has convened numerous special sessions in recent decades, none has dealt with issues as sweeping and consequential as the current one [OK Policy].
Fallin’s chief of staff to oil and gas leaders: ‘Participate in a way that can help’: After Oklahoma’s two largest oil and gas industry associations sent a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin opposing gross production tax increases, the governor’s chief of staff pleaded for the industry to “be for something” and noted that Fallin has been “the biggest supporter of your industry over the last several years.” Pasted below, the late-September email from Fallin’s chief of staff, Chris Benge, was widely discussed among industry leaders [NonDoc].
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