The 2021 session saw passage of economic justice reforms, but Oklahoma’s prison crisis demands greater action

Criminal justice reform was a lower profile priority in Oklahoma’s 2021 legislative session compared to previous years. Despite this fact, several significant reforms aimed at increasing economic opportunity for justice-involved families were signed into law. [More...]

Rural Oklahomans frequently carry larger burden for court fines, fees

Our analysis suggests that rural Oklahomans are asked to pay just as much, and often more, than their urban counterparts. More worrisome still, urban areas like Tulsa and Oklahoma counties have the most difficulty in collecting fines and fees, meaning rural Oklahomans are effectively contributing more of their money to fund the court system as compared to their urban counterparts. [More...]

Reducing Oklahoma’s court fines and fees is police reform

While much of this conversation has been focused on municipal budgets and inadequate funding for mental health and social services, it’s also critical that lawmakers consider how the system of court fines and fees contributes to racial disparities in both policing and incarceration. [More...]

Oklahoma’s fines and fees system worsening the economic crisis for families and courts

Oklahoma’s fines and fees system worsening the economic crisis for families and courts Although Oklahoma courts suspended most of their activities back in March, they have continued to collect fines and fees. So far this year, about $33.7 million in court debt has been collected from felony and misdemeanor cases alone, compared to about $40 million collected by this time last year. [More...]

Strategies for Building Trust Between Law Enforcement and Communities in Oklahoma: Executive Summary

[Download the full report as a pdf.] [Download a summary table of reform proposals.] Contents Introduction Problem Overview Reform Proposals Case Studies Conclusion Executive Summary Law enforcement officers in Oklahoma face a challenging environment. Recent reports place the state near… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Executive Summary

Tens of thousands of Oklahomans enter the justice system each year and come out with thousands of dollars in legal financial obligations. For poor Oklahomans, this debt can amount to most of their family’s income, and it often leads to a cycle of incarceration and poverty. Read more... [More...]