Reducing Oklahoma’s court fines and fees is police reform

While much of this conversation has been focused on municipal budgets and inadequate funding for mental health and social services, it’s also critical that lawmakers consider how the system of court fines and fees contributes to racial disparities in both policing and incarceration. [More...]

Oklahoma’s fines and fees system worsening the economic crisis for families and courts

Oklahoma’s fines and fees system worsening the economic crisis for families and courts Although Oklahoma courts suspended most of their activities back in March, they have continued to collect fines and fees. So far this year, about $33.7 million in court debt has been collected from felony and misdemeanor cases alone, compared to about $40 million collected by this time last year. [More...]

CDC eviction moratorium will help, but Oklahoma’s housing crisis still looms large

Data show that eviction filings and orders have accelerated in Oklahoma even after the CDC moratorium took effect on Sept. 4, and Oklahomans remain at risk for eviction through the end of the year. [More...]

Burglary reclassification is another measurable win for criminal justice reform

Our analysis suggests that SB 786 resulted in a substantive decrease in second-degree burglary charges and fewer prison sentences in the months following its November 2018 implementation. As Oklahoma continues efforts to reduce our prison population, this analysis reinforces how legislative reform can create swift and durable change.  [More...]

Providing legal representation could begin to fix Oklahoma’s broken eviction process

While we cannot legislate away the pandemic, we can better structure and operate our justice system to ensure that every tenant knows their rights and understands the process.  [More...]

Reopening Oklahoma’s courts must be done thoughtfully to avoid a public health disaster

Oklahoma courts should plan to transition back to normal operations gradually and cautiously in order to avoid exacerbating the spread of the coronavirus or facilitating mass evictions. [More...]

Policymakers must do more to prevent evictions and foreclosures during and after the COVID-19 crisis. We’re tracking these cases with our new Oklahoma Court Tracker tool

The Oklahoma Court Tracker, a tool by OK Policy’s Open Justice Oklahoma program, displays information on who is filing eviction and foreclosure cases and where those cases have been filed. As of April 1, plaintiffs have filed 1,116 evictions and 131 foreclosures since Oklahoma’s emergency declaration on March 15.  [More...]

Evictions currently are suspended in Oklahoma except in cases of “emergency”

Eviction hearings are postponed across the state and that means Oklahomans cannot be forced from their homes by an eviction or foreclosure until April 15 at the earliest. [More...]

Fixing Oklahoma’s outdated criminal code could be a great step forward but policymakers should be wary of risks.

Reform of the state's criminal code is long overdue — as the code is a major driver of Oklahoma’s expensive incarceration crisis. [More...]

2019 Priority: Fund public defenders and courts to reduce caseloads and reduce reliance on 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. Public defenders play a critical role in our justice system, serving as legal representation to the vast majority of… Read more [More...]