Five years later: Voters still waiting for SQ 781’s investments in mental health, substance use disorders

Though the Legislature has again failed to fund the treatments that SQ 781 statutorily required, we know that justice reform has measurably reduced the prison population and that mental health remains severely underfunded. [More...]

The 2021 session saw passage of economic justice reforms, but Oklahoma’s prison crisis demands greater action

Criminal justice reform was a lower profile priority in Oklahoma’s 2021 legislative session compared to previous years. Despite this fact, several significant reforms aimed at increasing economic opportunity for justice-involved families were signed into law. [More...]

HB 1795 reduces driver’s license suspensions for court fines and fees

Oklahoma Justice system court fines and fees Each year, thousands of Oklahomans face driver’s license suspension for failure to pay court fines and fees. As OK Policy has reported previously, tens of thousands of failure to pay arrest warrants are issued each year to the poorest Oklahomans. [More...]

Changes to Oklahoma’s drug laws reduce criminal charges and prison sentences

Though much remains to be done, the Oklahoma Policy Institute has been tracking the effects of justice reform in courts, jails, and prisons as reforms have taken hold and found a steady move towards a less punitive approach to offenses like drug possession and burglary.   [More...]

Addressing misinformation about SQ 805

As Oklahomans prepare to vote on State Question 805 during the Nov. 3 general election, opponents have started attacking the justice reform measure in predictable ways, attempting to stir up fear through false and misleading claims. Opponents of SQ 805… Read more [More...]

SQ 805: Criminal History in Sentencing and Sentence Modification Initiative

State Question 805 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to end the use of sentence enhancements for people convicted of nonviolent crimes [More...]

Parole reform was crucial in ending Oklahoma’s status as the world’s prison capital

As a result of parole reform, Oklahoma is no longer the prison capital of the world. The state now has the nation’s third highest per capita incarceration rate behind Louisiana and Mississippi. [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...]

Joint Statement: Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Oklahoma’s Criminal Justice System

Nine Oklahoma organizations have come together to urge elected officials and state officials to take urgent action to manage the serious threat of a COVID-19 outbreak in Oklahoma Corrections facilities.  [More...]

The Governor’s justice task force gives lawmakers a chance to address the scale of Oklahoma’s prison crisis

The RESTORE task force could bring greater justice to the state’s prison system by strengthening investments in alternatives to incarceration and treatment, reducing fines and fees, lowering the impact of cash bail on the poorest Oklahomans, and creating a dedicated re-entry system.  [More...]