Criminalizing homelessness is harmful and ineffective

Proposals to criminalize homelessness are harmful and counterproductive. Research shows us that the best way to combat homelessness is to increase access to affordable housing. [More...]

Fact Check: Has Oklahoma’s larceny rate skyrocketed since SQ 780 was passed in 2016? No. 

Some lawmakers and others have shared OSBI data purporting to show a dramatic increase in larceny, shoplifting, or other property crimes. OSBI has said those spikes were created by changes in data reporting, not increases in crime.  [More...]

Oklahoma should invest more in the youth justice system

– – – With the overall occurrence of youth delinquency and detention at a historic low, Oklahoma has the opportunity to invest more resources in delinquency prevention and alternatives to incarceration in the youth legal system. The legislature has taken… Read more [More...]

Interim study on youth justice shows need for funding, cohesive systems for prevention and treatment services (Capitol Update)

Rep. Amanda Swope, D-Tulsa, who in her life outside the legislature is the Tribal Juvenile Justice Program Director for the Muscogee Nation, brought her passion for helping troubled youth with her when she was elected to the House of Representatives.… Read more [More...]

Lawmakers made incremental changes towards justice reform last session, but Oklahomans deserve much more 

During Oklahoma’s 2023 legislative session, lawmakers made some positive improvements in the state’s criminal legal system, including investments into diversion programs and significant reforms around court fines and fees. While these changes are commendable, they are only the beginning of… Read more [More...]

Oklahomans deserve justice reform; there is still time to deliver results this session  

Now that the Oklahoma state legislature is roughly halfway through the 2023 session, there is still time for lawmakers to prioritize criminal justice issues. In recent years, Oklahoma has made some progress in modernizing the state’s justice system and alleviating… Read more [More...]

It is time for lawmakers to revisit Oklahoma’s possession with intent to distribute law

Over the last six years, Oklahoma has seen a marked reduction in the number of people going to prison, with the largest reductions coming from drug convictions thanks to recent voter-approved justice reform efforts. However, there’s more lawmakers can do.… Read more [More...]

State Question 820: Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative

NOTE: This version corrects the amount of marijuana that an individual would be allowed to posses. [2-28-23] State Question 820 will be on the ballot on March 7, 2023.  Click below to jump to section: The Gist Background Information Ballot… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma’s parole process has helped safely lower the number of people in prison. Continued investments could build on this progress.

Oklahoma’s parole process — which allows conditional early release from prison — has played a key role in lowering the number of Oklahomans behind bars. The use of parole has reunited families, protected public safety, and saved the state hundreds… Read more [More...]

Medicaid expansion is a vital piece of reentry for Oklahomans leaving incarceration

Oklahoma prisons are constitutionally required to provide medical services to the more than 21,000 people in their custody. As those individuals are released back to their communities, they are at risk of losing health care coverage unless insurance is available,… Read more [More...]