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...]

Justice reinvestment offers a model to support vulnerable Oklahoma youth

Oklahoma should take advantage of declining youth incarceration to reinvest in services  — such as therapy, substance use treatment, education, and family supports — for justice-involved youth. [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...]

Occupational licenses could soon be within reach for more Oklahomans

Nearly 30 percent of the American workforce needs a license to do their job, so we should carefully examine the rules about who can, and can’t, get an occupational license. This is especially important for the justice-involved, a group that faces multiple barriers (including licensing restrictions) to employment and economic stability.  [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...]

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...]

To encourage reintegration, restore voting rights for people with felonies

Max West is an OK Policy intern and a recent graduate of Rogers State University with a degree in Public Administration. He will begin law school at Oklahoma City University School of Law this fall. Oklahoma’s 2018 primary election was… Read more [More...]

Progress is being made, but there’s still a long way to go in reforming occupational licensing in Oklahoma

We’ve been talking a lot about occupational licensing lately and that’s because it’s a big deal for economic opportunity. Requiring a state license to practice certain occupations began with good intentions –  to protect the public from the harm that… Read more [More...]

Signs of progress on reducing barriers to work in Oklahoma

Last fall, we told you about the work of the Oklahoma Occupational Licensing Task Force, a group of leaders from the Legislature, state agencies, and private businesses that formed in 2016 to study occupational licensing in the state. The task… Read more [More...]

Occupational licensing is a growing barrier to Oklahomans who seek a decent job

Let’s say you want to change careers. Or maybe you’re a recent graduate thinking about what you’d like to do as you enter the workforce. Like an increasing number of American workers, you might find that stiff requirements to get… Read more [More...]