Bail reform: Living in a different county shouldn’t mean different access to justice

Thousands of Oklahomans who have not been convicted of a crime are locked in county jails across the state because they can’t afford to buy their freedom from a bondsman. How long you stay in jail often depends on where… 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...]

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

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 legislature passed a sweeping criminal justice reform package in 2017, Oklahoma Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said that… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma’s debtors’ prisons aren’t just a nuisance – they’re an epidemic

The problem of debtors’ prisons in Oklahoma has slowly come out into the open in recent years. More and more criminal defendants have been unable to pay off the thousands of dollars in fines and fees piled on them by… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma’s urban justice systems are set for big changes. But who will fix rural jails?

While Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons get most of the attention, nearly all of the important decisions on a criminal case have been made long before a person enters prison. Local law enforcement is responsible for arresting people who break the law… Read more [More...]

Bail reform should be the solution for Oklahoma’s overcrowded jails

Leslie Briggs was an OK Policy summer intern. She is pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Oklahoma voters know that the time is right for criminal justice reform for our state, and they… Read more [More...]

We The (Incarcerated) People (Neglected Oklahoma)

Camille Landry is a writer, activist, and social justice advocate who lives in Oklahoma City.  This post is part of our “Neglected Oklahoma” series, which tells the stories of Oklahomans in situations where the basic necessities of life are hard… Read more [More...]

What’s driving Oklahoma’s prison population growth?

Oklahoma has the second highest incarceration rate in the country, up from fourth highest in 2012, with approximately 1,310 out of every 100,000 of our citizens incarcerated in 2014. The state appropriated $485 million to the Department of Corrections in… Read more [More...]

What lawmakers didn’t do to end the crisis in our prisons

For years, observers have warned of an emerging crisis in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system. With state prisons and county jails packed full and staffing levels falling to the worst in the whole nation, Oklahoma has put the safety of both… Read more [More...]