Bail reform: Living in a different county shouldn’t mean different access to justice

Thousands of Oklahomans who have not been convicted of a crime are locked in county jails across the state because they can’t afford to buy their freedom from a bondsman. How long you stay in jail often depends on where… Read more [More...]

Money bail costs vulnerable communities and county governments millions of dollars each year. Passing SB 252 could change that.

Oklahomans who are arrested for nonviolent offenses often spend several weeks in local and county jails because they're unable to afford to post money bond, incurring steep costs with little benefit to public safety. A new study of court records by Open Justice Oklahoma finds that the harmful effects of money bail are felt across the state, though differing policies across counties create deep disparities in the likelihood and length of pretrial detentions. [More...]

Bill Watch: A strong bipartisan coalition could make huge advances on criminal justice reform

This legislative session, leaders of both parties, the governor, the Oklahoma business community and the public at large have expressed a clear desire to work towards ending Oklahoma’s incarceration crisis. Some of these legislative initiatives build on the progress of Gov. Fallin’s Criminal Justice Task Force, but many proposals represent new attempts to lower Oklahoma’s highest-in-the-world incarceration rate. [More...]

2019 Priority: Reform cash bail and court fines and fees

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Since 2000, the Legislature has added dozens of new fines and fees for criminal defendants to finance our underfunded… Read more [More...]

Plea deals have unbalanced Oklahoma’s justice system

Anna Rouw is an OK Policy summer intern. She recently graduated from the University of Tulsa. One of the most basic rights for Americans accused of a crime is the right to a fair trial before a jury. However, the… Read more [More...]

Bail reform should be the solution for Oklahoma’s overcrowded jails

Leslie Briggs was an OK Policy summer intern. She is pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Oklahoma voters know that the time is right for criminal justice reform for our state, and they… Read more [More...]

An achievable step towards justice for all: End money bail

Hand in handcuffs on a pile of dollars The criminal justice system tends to move slowly. The time between a person’s arrest and sentencing usually stretches for months, depending on the charges, but where that time is spent depends mainly on whether the person can afford to pay… Read more [More...]