Articles

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform publishes articles on issues that are important to the criminal justice reform movement in Oklahoma.

Allen McCall Resigns from Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board – Replaced with Former DA Richard Smothermon

By Colleen McCarty | July 8, 2021

Today the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board released its agenda for next week’s meeting. It states that the Board will be inducting a new member, Richard Smothermon. It is also clear from the Agenda that Comanche County Judge Allen McCall has stepped down from his service on the board.

The Future of Reform: 2021 Policy Survey

By Colleen McCarty | July 7, 2021

This is a very exciting time to work in Criminal Justice Reform in Oklahoma. Our citizens are waking up to the unjust outcomes that the criminal justice system can sometimes deliver – and they are excited about the possibilities for change. We are starting to understand that there are so many sociological underpinnings of our…

The American Dream for Who?

By Destiny Murrell | July 4, 2021

The “American Dream” is a belief that anyone, regardless of race, gender, or religious beliefs can achieve the highest form of success and freedom while living in America but only through hard work and determination. While this belief has also been the goal of people that move to America from other countries/nations, for many Americans this belief is a fallacy that has been told throughout the years and in reality, gives a sense of false hope.

William S. Keys Correctional Facility is Closing: What Now?

By Aliye Hargett | June 24, 2021

The announcement by the DOC that the William S. Keys Correctional Facility in Fort Supply, Oklahoma will close by the end of 2021 caused great commotion in Oklahoma–but not in the way it should have. Citizens and legislators alike lamented that the closing would wreak havoc on Fort Supply’s economy and acknowledged that the 140 employees of the facilities would lose their jobs or have to relocate to remain an employee of the Department of Corrections (DOC). While the loss of any number of jobs is unfortunate, the jobs could be replaced within Fort Supply by turning the land of William S. Keys into a new opportunity for economic growth and employment stability in Woodward County.

Community Spotlight: OK Messages

By Jacqueline Blocker | June 20, 2021

The OK Messages Project, led by Executive Director Cheri Fuller, takes trained volunteer teams into prisons to coach and film incarcerated parents reading a book to their child and sharing a positive message. The organization mails the book and DVD of the parent reading the story to approximately 1,000 children before Christmas and 1,000 children for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Trichell Jones: When Survivors Are Criminalized

By Jacqueline Blocker | May 11, 2021

Jones was arrested on January 13, 2019 for shooting and killing her longtime boyfriend Quaylan Jeffers. Jones lived with Jeffers between 2006 and 2017 and she was finally leaving him after suffering years of documented abuse.

A Message from OCJR’s New Deputy Director

By okcjr | May 3, 2021

Today I am excited to announce that I have accepted the position of Deputy Director for Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. I am thankful for the opportunity and for the groundwork laid by my predecessor, Clint Castleberry, who will continue his amazing work at the Department of Corrections as the state begins to implement Medicaid Expansion.

2021: Oklahoma Criminal Justice Reform Steps Forward, Steps Back

By Colleen McCarty | April 26, 2021

It’s time to recap some of the major wins, losses, and what’s on the horizon for advocates of criminal justice reform in Oklahoma.

AG’s Criminal Justice Council Releases Sentencing Plan for Oklahoma

By Colleen McCarty | April 12, 2021

Oklahoma has a chance at substantive sentencing reform for the first time in its statehood and the people tasked with guiding that reform have released a draft proposal for what it might look like.

SB334: Creating Felons and Punishing Taxpayers

By Colleen McCarty | April 1, 2021

The sponsor and supporters of SB 334 believe an Oklahoman committing misdemeanor theft at a rate of $5 a day … should be incarcerated for up to two years at a total potential cost of nearly $40,000. You foot the bill with your tax dollars and the cost represents 20X the value of stolen merchandise in these cases.