The shrinking state employee workforce

In the wake of three consecutive years of steep budget cuts, the number of state employees staffing correctional facilities, inspecting restaurants and nursing homes, serving victims of abuse and neglect, and performing other public functions has declined sharply. In FY… Read more [More...]

Reforming Criminal Justice: What the latest bill does and what stands in the way

A new criminal justice reform law seeks to reduce crime and ease the burden on overcrowded, understaffed prisons. We explain what the new law does and what still stands in the way of reform. Read more... [More...]

The FY '12 budget agreement: Playing your best hand with only half your cards

On Tuesday, Governor Fallin and the Republican leadership of the House and Senate announced an agreement on the FY ’12 budget. Total state appropriations for next year will be $6.511 billion, which is $254 million, or 3.8 percent less than… Read more [More...]

Guest blog (Shelley Cadamy): Spending on mental health services earns a substantial return on investment

Shelley Cadamy is a native Oklahoman and adoptive/foster parent who has done economic development work in Oklahoma since 1994. During a Leadership Oklahoma City session several years ago, I had the opportunity to ask the Oklahoma City Police Chief and… Read more [More...]

Guest blog (Justin Jones): DOC budget cuts and offender growth are affecting public, employee and offender safety

Justin Jones, the author of this blog post, is Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections with 34 years of correctional experience. Like many other state agencies, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) has been confronted with severe budget reductions… Read more [More...]

What's at stake: Prison powder keg

Back in March, a member of the Board that oversees the state Department of Corrections (DOC) delivered a blunt message to the state’s elected officials about the impact that growing inmate populations and funding cuts were having on the department’s… Read more [More...]