In The Know: State parole board to reconsider commutation policy changes

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Oklahoma parole board is going to rethink commutation policy changes: The state Pardon and Parole Board acted improperly when it approved new eligibility requirements for inmates applying for a shorter sentence, the attorney general’s office said. The board Monday withdrew the new policy and said it will now move forward with the rule-making process to establish new eligibility parameters for commutation [NewsOK].

Attorneys for Richard Glossip ask court to cancel execution date: Glossip was set to die Sept. 16, but the court postponed his execution for two weeks after his attorneys filed new evidence they say casts doubts on his guilt. However, Glossip’s legal team argues in a new filing that the state failed to follow the law when they set his new execution date [NewsOK].

Upcoming Event: Oklahoma Food Security Summit: On October 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Food Security Summit will convene at Tulsa Community College’s Northeast Campus (3727 E. Apache Street, Tulsa, OK 74115). National, state, tribal, and local food policy experts and community members will assess conditions leading to food insecurity in Oklahoma; create solutions; and form a pathway to action [OK Policy].

Food for Kids Backpack Program celebrates 10th birthday: A program designed to provide food-insecure children with supplemental nourishment on the weekends has seen a 1,300 percent increase in its first 10 years. The Food for Kids Backpack Program started as a way for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to provide supplemental food for about 500 children each weekend during the school year [Tulsa World]. A range of programs comprise the state’s food insecurity safety net [OK Policy].

Youth incarceration and Oklahoma’s school-to-prison pipeline (Part 1): Local civil rights leaders and juvenile justice reform advocates convened in Oklahoma City last week to discuss strategies for reducing youth incarceration. Statistics show that students of color are more frequently subject to harsh discipline than their white classmates [Red Dirt Report].

Rejected fingerprints frustrate applicants for Oklahoma professional licenses: OSBI and national fingerprint background checks on people seeking to work with vulnerable Oklahoma children and adults often have failed to reveal their criminal histories. Fingerprint checks done by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at the request of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services proved unreliable 117 times in 2014, according to DHS [NewsOK]. 

Regulators delay vote on proposed disposal wells: The uncertainty surrounding the state’s ongoing earthquake swarm has grown this week as the Oklahoma Corporation Commission delayed decisions on whether to approve new disposal wells in seismically active areas and the state’s only remaining seismologist accepted another position [NewsOK]. 
In clash with pope’s climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights: Casting the fight against climate change as an urgent moral duty, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels. Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found. And in one archdiocese — Oklahoma City — Church officials have signed three new oil and gas leases since Francis’s missive on the environment, leasing documents show [Reuters].


Quote of the Day

“If there’s a need out there, you want to be meeting it. To that end, growth is a good thing, but we’d like to see the need shrinking.”

– Eileen Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, on the tenth year of the food bank’s Food for Kids backpack program, which sends home a backpack of additional food for food-insecure students over the weekend. The program, which reached 500 students per week when it began, served about 7,000 students per week at the end of the 2014-2015 school year (Source)

Number of the Day


Teen (age 15-19) death rate per 100,000 in Oklahoma in 2011, the 5th-highest in the US.

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Report details economic hardship for inmate families: A survey of families that have a member in jail or prison has found that nearly two-thirds struggle to meet their basic needs, including 50 percent that are unable to afford sufficient food and adequate housing. The report found that costs associated with incarceration, like traveling for prison visits, had pushed more than one-third of the families into debt [The New York Times].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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