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...]

Rural Oklahomans frequently carry larger burden for court fines, fees

Our analysis suggests that rural Oklahomans are asked to pay just as much, and often more, than their urban counterparts. More worrisome still, urban areas like Tulsa and Oklahoma counties have the most difficulty in collecting fines and fees, meaning rural Oklahomans are effectively contributing more of their money to fund the court system as compared to their urban counterparts. [More...]

Fixing Oklahoma’s court fines and fees problem (Capitol Update)

Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, has spent considerable time working to make the collection of court fines and fees both more efficient and less destructive to the lives of people who are legitimately unable to pay. She held an interim study… Read more [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...]

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...]

Oklahoma courts have not suspended fines and fees

Oklahoma’s county courts, which handle all civil and most criminal cases across the state, have suspended most of their activities until April 15 at the earliest. There has been no official guidance about the collection of criminal fines and fees while court activity is suspended [More...]

It’s time to restructure Oklahoma courts’ wildly inefficient and unjust fines and fees system

Oklahoma courts remain overly reliant on fine and fee revenue to provide funding for basic functions of government. This system creates a dynamic where millions of dollars each year are funneled out of Oklahoma’s poorest communities to fund the agencies that should be focused solely on doing justice. [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...]

Spottedcrow case highlights Oklahoma justice system’s flaws (Capitol Update)

At some point it would seem to be of no benefit to the state or to offenders to keep them in debt under threat of arrest and jail.    [More...]