The official SQ 780 savings calculation rests on flawed assumptions

Two years ago, Oklahoma voters passed State Questions 780 and 781, together known as the Smart Justice Reform Act. SQ 780 reclassified simple drug possession and many low-level property crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies. SQ 781 directs the Office of… Read more [More...]

OKPolicyCast 35: A frank conversation about criminal justice (with D’Marria Monday, Jill Webb, Erik Grayless, and Kris Steele)

The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry with production help from Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover, or people… Read more [More...]

Accepting our highest-in-the-world incarceration rate means believing that Oklahomans are the worst people

Update: Recent criminal justice reforms have moved Oklahoma’s incarceration rate back to second in the world.    We knew the day would come when Oklahoma surpassed Louisiana as the highest-incarcerating state in the highest-incarcerating country in the world. After Louisiana’s… Read more [More...]

Updating drug courts is important, but Oklahoma must invest in all forms of substance abuse treatment

In the wake of the passage of SQ 780, which reclassified simple drug possession as a misdemeanor, legislators and advocates began to discuss how the state should adjust its approach to substance abuse. Among the most pressing questions was what… Read more [More...]

Arrests for possession of marijuana spiked in Oklahoma in 2016. What happened?

In May, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) released official crime statistics for 2016. While most attention on crime rates is rightly devoted to serious crimes, OSBI noted an eye-catching development in a supplemental report: arrests for drug crimes increased… Read more [More...]

What works to stop crime (hint: it’s not incarceration)

The debate surrounding criminal justice reform in Oklahoma generally focuses on one question: How do we reduce our very high incarceration rates without jeopardizing public safety? As Gov. Fallin said about her Justice Reform Task Force’s proposals during the 2017 legislative… Read more [More...]

Misguided budget concerns are endangering criminal justice reform

This year’s legislative session started with high hopes for the strong reform proposals that came out of the Governor’s Justice Reform Task Force (JRTF). While most of the bills sailed through their first tests of support, many have been severely… Read more [More...]

Justice Reform Task Force recommendations could be the solution Oklahoma desperately needs

Just before the start of the legislative session, the Justice Reform Task Force released a report that details the crisis in our state’s corrections system and recommends policy changes to deal with the crisis in a safe and effective manner. If passed… Read more [More...]

Steps forward and back in criminal justice legislation this year

The Oklahoma Legislature took some important steps on criminal justice reform in the 2016 session. This progress is the result of a collaborative effort by dozens of stakeholders to reduce penalties on low-level crimes and make alternative sentencing more accessible.… Read more [More...]

Governor Fallin’s new, inclusive approach to criminal justice reform is bearing fruit

Early last year, Governor Fallin issued an executive order to establish the Oklahoma Justice Reform Steering Committee to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the prison population and improve public safety. The committee, composed of the Governor, President Pro Tem… Read more [More...]