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...]

Fixing Oklahoma’s outdated criminal code could be a great step forward but policymakers should be wary of risks.

Reform of the state's criminal code is long overdue — as the code is a major driver of Oklahoma’s expensive incarceration crisis. [More...]

Hepatitis C in Oklahoma prisons is an expensive time bomb

Oklahoma must invest in a comprehensive treatment plan for the growing hepatitis C crisis in our prisons before the cost of treatment and the human toll of this crisis become unmanageable.   [More...]

HB 1269 makes 780 retroactive but leaves issues unresolved

HB 1269 is a positive step for justice reform in Oklahoma, but a recent amendment will complicate the bill’s resentencing process and create financial hurdles that will lessen the positive impact of retroactivity. [More...]

Investments in prison job training will lower the cost of Oklahoma’s incarceration crisis

Stable employment is the single biggest factor in determining whether Oklahomans released from prison are likely to re-offend. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate for justice-involved Oklahomans is five times higher than the statewide average. Workforce training in prisons is one of… Read more [More...]

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...]