2019 Priority: Add racial impact statements on criminal justice legislation to reduce disparities in the justice system

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Communities of color are disproportionately affected by incarceration in Oklahoma. One in every 15 adult Black men in Oklahoma… Read more [More...]

2019 Priority: Reform cash bail and court fines and fees

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Since 2000, the Legislature has added dozens of new fines and fees for criminal defendants to finance our underfunded… Read more [More...]

2019 Priority: Expand opportunities for occupational licenses

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Economic opportunities are sharply limited for Oklahomans who have been involved in the criminal justice system. These Oklahomans face… Read more [More...]

2019 Priority: Fund public defenders and courts to reduce caseloads and reduce reliance on fines and fees

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Public defenders play a critical role in our justice system, serving as legal representation to the vast majority of… Read more [More...]

2019 Priority: Make the sentencing reforms of SQ 780 retroactive

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. In 2016, voters approved two major justice reform initiatives, State Questions 780 and 781. SQ 780 reclassified simple drug… Read more [More...]

2019 Legislative Policy Priorities: Solutions for Oklahoma’s toughest challenges

We are offering proven solutions to poverty and the lack of opportunity that holds Oklahoma back from becoming a truly prosperous state. With this agenda and with all of you, we may finally fulfill the Oklahoma Standard and rebuild an economy and society that works for all. [More...]

Finding the courage to say “no more prisons” (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. “We’re not going to build any more prisons.” I remember House Speaker Dan Draper making that declarative… Read more [More...]

Parole is broken in Oklahoma. Here’s how we fix it.

Incarceration is expensive in Oklahoma. The cost of our overcrowded prisons is projected to skyrocket in the next decade. The Department of Corrections requested $1.5 billion next year to address long-neglected repairs and to build a new prison to keep up with the… Read more [More...]

The Oklahoma City Police Department shows the promise of local justice reform

Most discussions about criminal justice in Oklahoma center on our prison system, which is responsible for maintaining our highest-in-the-world incarceration rate but is dangerously underfunded. While our high incarceration rate may be the most pressing issue, law enforcement agencies are the… Read more [More...]

Funding postsecondary education for incarcerated Oklahomans could pay off for public safety and the budget

Oklahoma has made encouraging progress on justice reform in recent years. Reforms passed in 2016 and 2018 will slow prison population growth and spur investments in rehabilitation. While these are important steps in the right direction, criminal justice reform should… Read more [More...]