Oklahoma needs criminal justice reform…

But there is hope! According to an in-depth analysis from FWD.us, at the end of 2016, Oklahoma had the highest incarceration rate in the country, with Oklahomans 65% more likely to be in jail or prison than someone who lived in another state. Oklahomans decided it was time for a new chapter in their state’s history and made real changes to their criminal justice system, ultimately reducing the prison population by 21% over five years. 

Regardless of this incredible feat, there is still work to be done. Did you know that Oklahomans are serving disproportionately long sentences? Oklahoma doesn’t have worse residents than surrounding states, but we do have a worse criminal legal system. This over-incarceration doesn’t give us safer communities, it tears apart families and wastes our tax dollars. Oklahoma spends more than half a billion dollars each year to lock people up.  Instead OK could save at least $230 million per year if it reduced its imprisonment rate to that of neighboring states.

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