Articles

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

Criminal Justice Reform Bills to Advocate For

By Colleen McCarty | March 22, 2021

The Oklahoma Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives hit one of their big deadlines on March 11th, 2021. That deadline requires that all bills that will advance to become law be passed off the floor in their house of origin before that date. This ensures enough time for the bill to pass through the…

SQ781 Funding – Money for Addiction Treatment

By Colleen McCarty | February 16, 2021

It has been almost five years since the voters affirmatively said “yes!” to criminal justice reform that can save lives and taxpayer dollars. In those five years, the relevant stakeholders have not been able to settle upon a correct dollar amount that can be funneled into the SQ781 fund.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 686: Hospice Care Work Program

By Colleen McCarty | February 3, 2021

End of life care is something many people need in order to die with dignity – including Oklahomans who are incarcerated.

Oklahoma House Bill 1625 – Possession with Intent to Distribute Reform

By Colleen McCarty | February 3, 2021

Defines possession with intent to distribute (PWID) to distinguish between PWID (a felony) and simple possession (a misdemeanor). This change prevents inappropriate and inconsistent charging practices.

Medical Parole Reform – HB1903, SB320, & SB396

By Colleen McCarty | February 3, 2021

These bills define medical frailty and medical vulnerability for medical parole consideration to expand compassionate release and safely reduce the prison population.

Oklahoma House Bill 2879 – Violence Prevention Innovation Fund

By Colleen McCarty | February 3, 2021

OCJR is happy to have partnered with providers of services to domestic violence victims in creating HB2879. In short, HB2879 takes savings from significant sentencing reforms outlined in SB704 and funnels them to providers who can support and innovate ways to reduce interpersonal and gender based violence.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 704 – Sentence Enhancement Reform

By Colleen McCarty | February 2, 2021

Authored by Senator Dave Rader, this SB704 is OCJR’s most ambitious legislation this session. SB704 has the potential to help Oklahomans serving excessive sentences for truly non-violent crimes while saving the state over $100 Million dollars over the next ten years.

Guiding Principles of Sentencing Reform

By Colleen McCarty | January 11, 2021

There are efforts underway to reform Oklahoma’s sentencing code. Oklahoma currently has some of the longest sentences in the world, compared to other states as well as other countries. This is due to an outdated criminal code that oftentimes provides extremely long ranges of punishment. Long sentence ranges, Oklahoma’s use of sentencing enhancements on all…

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Re-Entry Spotlight: R.I.S.E.

By Colleen McCarty | December 22, 2020

Oklahoma has struggled to implement effective re-entry programming that reduces recidivism and prepares justice-involved people for the workforce. Christie Luther – Director of R.I.S.E. – sought to change that. R.I.S.E. is the first-ever school of Cosmetology located inside an Oklahoma prison. We asked Christie about R.I.S.E. and why she feels it’s important to train justice-involved…

Is Prosecution Changing? What the New Los Angeles DA’s Agenda Indicates for the Future of Top Cops

By Colleen McCarty | December 15, 2020

This new wave of prosecution is indicative of a shift in the mindset of law enforcement nationwide. Most of them agree that the traditional tough-on-crime approach to prosecution and law enforcement has failed. They are ready to try something new.