Fact Check: Oklahomans are safer due to SQ780

Author: Ashley Bender We have a fact check in response to one of the recent media reports that spread misrepresented claims that public safety is in question due to State Question Q780 reforms that recategorized low-level drug & property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Last week a news outlet published a misleading report on recidivism among people released from prisons […]

How Poverty Drives Violent Crime

From 1975 to 1977 an experiment to test the effects of unconditional cash payments, sometimes termed as Universal Basic Income, was conducted in Manitoba, Canada. This study was especially important in determining the effects on crime rates because, unlike other studies of the sort, the entire town of Dauphin was given unconditional cash payments, creating a macro-level community data set. […]

Jones and Rittenhouse: A Tale of Two Very Different Criminal Legal Systems

By: Michael Olsen & Ashley Bender; Edited by: Colleen McCarty There’s no question the United States justice system is broken.  What does justice mean? Truly, how do we as a nation define justice? The lines are continuously blurred and today does not help us clarify. This reality impacts every aspect of society, especially when the modifier “social” is attached to […]

2022 Legislative Agenda Reveal

OKLAHOMA NEEDS SENTENCING REFORM  A Comprehensive, Reform-Minded Sentencing Plan. OCJR will push for a sentencing matrix that shortens sentencing ranges, eliminates mandatory minimums, only applies percentages of time served on the most serious felonies, and only applies sentence enhancements in the most serious cases. LET’S CALL FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY TRANSPARENCY  Make the Plea & Charging Data Available. Oklahoma should follow […]

How Did We Get Here? A Historical Review of the Death Penalty in Oklahoma

By: Ashley Bender Oklahoma has a complex history surrounding the death penalty and regardless of public outcries and botched executions, the state continues to move forward with setting dates to put prisoners to death.  The beginning of Oklahoma and the Death Penalty Present day Oklahoma was once a part of the Louisiana Purchase, meaning that in 1804 when Congress made […]

Community Spotlight: OK Messages

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.