In The Know: Statewide prison lockdown remains following altercations at six facilities, Pardon and Parole Board discusses implementation of new criminal justice reform, Lack of residency positions driving new doctors outside state

In The KnowIn 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.

New from OK Policy

(Capitol Update) Spottedcrow case highlights Oklahoma justice system’s flaws: It was reported last week that Patricia Spottedcrow, who had been sentenced to a 12-year prison sentence over a decade ago for selling $31 worth of marijuana, was back in jail on a bench warrant because she owed more than $1,100 in unpaid court costs. [OK Policy] Oklahoma’s debtors’ prisons aren’t just a nuisance – they’re an epidemic. [OK Policy]

In The News

Statewide prison lockdown remains following altercations at six facilities: Prisons statewide are on lockdown indefinitely after fights broke out at six facilities over the weekend, resulting in the death of one inmate and injuries to several dozen others, agency officials reported. [The Oklahoman]

Pardon and Parole Board discusses implementation of new criminal justice reform: The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board could potentially consider hundreds of inmates who are eligible for an accelerated commutation process under a recent criminal justice reform measure. [The Oklahoman]

The physician shortage: Lack of residency positions driving new doctors outside state: There are more medical school graduates each year in Oklahoma than there are residency slots in hospitals for them to complete their training. According to the Oklahoma State Medical Association, a perennial shortage of residency slots within the state for newly minted doctors is among reasons why declining access to health care is a serious and rising concern, especially in rural parts of the state. [Journal Record ????]

Applications being accepted for jail administrator position in Oklahoma County: The official job description asks for a “dynamic and experienced professional” to become the CEO of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, also known as the jail trust, and to run the county jail. [The Oklahoman]

Public invited to discussion as Gov. Stitt brings ‘Cabinet Tour’ to Owasso on Thursday: Gov. Kevin Stitt will visit Owasso this week as he travels the state in the remaining months of his first year in office for four public meetings billed as the Top Ten Cabinet Tour. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa World editorial: Another bad statistic shows Oklahoma is making itself poorer and sicker: For the second consecutive year, only one state — Texas — has a higher rate of uninsured residents than Oklahoma. Oklahoma is one of 14 states that has steadfastly refused to accept available federal funding to provide Medicaid coverage for working-age people living in poverty. [Tulsa World]

Tulsa Police and the Enforcement of Court Debt: In one North Tulsa zip code with a 57.2 percent black population and 38.5 percent poverty rate, the debt owed was $590 per adult, according to Oklahoma Policy Institute based on data from 2011 to 2016. [Human Rights Watch]

Half of Tulsa Public Schools students feel like they ‘belong’ at school, 57% feel safe there: According to the survey, 50% of students responded favorably to questions gauging their sense of belonging at school. Questions about school safety received a 57% favorable response rate. [Tulsa World] Tulsa Public Schools to hold first public meeting on budget cuts tonight. [Tulsa World]

Poll: Enid area still bullish on wind energy: Oklahomans in the Enid area continue to hold favorable views of wind energy and its economic opportunities, according to a new poll commissioned by the Oklahoma Rural Association. [NonDoc]

Oklahoma judge refuses to halt ban on abortion procedure: An Oklahoma judge is refusing to halt a ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure following a ruling that abortion rights proponents have decried as a “rogue” decision that could threaten women’s reproductive rights. [AP News]

Constitution Day is Tuesday. Here’s how local teachers will address it: Although Constitution Day is observed on Tuesday, the signing of the U.S. Constitution gets little attention in many classrooms on the day of the federal holiday. [Tulsa World]

Climate change talk subtle in state: As scientists predict Oklahoma will face hotter temperatures and more extreme weather events as a result of climate change, the state’s top elected officials largely aren’t pushing legislation or policies to address it. [The Oklahoman]

Creek voters head to polls; former chief will be on ballot but not eligible, election office says: Muscogee (Creek) voters will head to the polls this week, but not all of the candidates listed on the ballot are still eligible. [Tulsa World]

Horn: Impeachment shouldn’t be focus of House: U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, a freshman Democrat expected to face a tough reelection battle, says House Democrats should be focusing on issues other than impeaching President Donald Trump. [The Oklahoman]

Quote of the Day

“Oklahomans are paying for Medicaid expansion in 36 other states and Washington, D.C., but not getting to take advantage of it because of political obstinacy. As a result, we are poorer, sicker and less able to move ahead.”

– The Tulsa World editorial board, commenting on Census numbers showing that Oklahoma has the second highest uninsured rate in the country [Tulsa World]

Number of the Day


Share of Oklahoma state revenue from the personal income tax, just below the national average of 38.1 percent.

[Source: Pew Charitable Trusts]

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Among Hurdles For Those With Opioid Addictions: Getting The Drug To Treat It: To date, much of the research on barriers to buprenorphine access has focused on the fact that too few medical providers are certified to write the prescriptions. According to federal law, doctors must apply for a special waiver from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, to prescribe buprenorphine. To get the waiver, a doctor must undergo eight hours of training — and can prescribe the drug to a maximum of 30 patients at a time, to start. Given these constraints, many doctors don’t bother. [Kaiser Health News]

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Jessica joined OK Policy as a Communications Associate in January 2018. A Mexican immigrant, she was a Clara Luper Scholar at Oklahoma City University where she obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. Prior to joining OK Policy, Jessica worked at a digital marketing agency in Oklahoma City. She is an alumna of both the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute (2013) and OK Policy's Summer Policy Institute (2015). In addition to her role at OK Policy, Jessica serves as a board member for Dream Action Oklahoma in OKC and communications director for Dream Alliance Oklahoma in Tulsa.

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