The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Part IV

[Download the full report as a pdf.] Part IV. Recommendations Oklahoma legislators should take steps to reduce the damage of excessive and unaffordable legal financial obligations, and strong reform ideas have aleady emerged in the Legislature. In 2016, the Justice… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Part III

[Download the full report as a pdf.] Part III. Fee revenue funds many government functions, but criminal fee revenue has leveled off The fees that the courts collect on criminal and civil cases range from relatively large sums that fund… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Part II

[Download the full report as a pdf.] Part II. Court debt punishes the poor, and most goes uncollected The costs for even a single incident in the criminal justice system are simply out of reach for many Oklahomans. About 80… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Part I

[Download the full report as a pdf.] Part I. Fees have grown for every type of crime As a result of their involvement in the criminal justice system, criminal defendants are charged a litany of fines and fees by the… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Introduction

[Download the full report as a pdf.] Introduction This report examines how criminal justice fines and fees trap Oklahomans in poverty while providing ever-smaller financial benefits to the state. Lawmakers must recognize that our approach to criminal justice debt is… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap – Appendices

Appendix I. Court Collection Totals Appendix II. District Court Collection Data… Read more [More...]

The Cost Trap: How Excessive Fees Lock Oklahomans Into the Criminal Justice System without Boosting State Revenue: Executive Summary

Tens of thousands of Oklahomans enter the justice system each year and come out with thousands of dollars in legal financial obligations. For poor Oklahomans, this debt can amount to most of their family’s income, and it often leads to a cycle of incarceration and poverty. 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...]

Instead of progress on fines and fees, last-minute legislation would hike them even further

The beginning of this year’s legislative session brought hope that lawmakers would begin to scale back justice system fines and fees that have grown enormously in size and number over the past two decades. Instead, the problem is likely to… Read more [More...]