Yesterday, the Tulsa World reported that Oklahoma judges are not implementing a key provision of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative that sought to reform Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. The JRI law approved by lawmakers in 2012 mandates post-release supervision for felony offenders after incarceration, but since it went into effect, that requirement has been placed on only 9 out of 1,621 eligible offenders.
Unfortunately, the news is just the latest of many examples where Oklahoma is not implementing the new law. A new fact sheet from Oklahoma Policy Institute makes clear that the law continues to face numerous roadblocks that prevent it from having any impact of the state’s high levels of costly incarceration.
The fact sheet shows that implementation of several provisions of the law have been weak to nonexistent. It also explains how the Justice Reinvestment Initiative did nothing to address the central drivers of Oklahoma’s high incarceration rates: unusually long sentences and a lack of alternatives to incarceration for low-risk offenders.
For recommendations on what Oklahoma can do to achieve real criminal justice reform, see OK Policy’s “Action Items for Criminal Justice” report.