Your Vote is Your Voice

Written by: Ashley Bender and Michael Olson Your vote is your voice.  It is easy to feel that your individual vote may not have a huge impact, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, then your vote undoubtedly matters. More than 130,000 Oklahomans have already cast ballots, either in person or by mail. Data […]

The Scary and Horrifying Injustices of the Criminal Legal System

Oklahoma’s criminal legal system is defined by many under-discussed and fairly horrifying facts . Like some horror movie character tiptoeing through the darkness we must first confront some terrifying historical truths about our State in order to change Oklahoma for the better. This October, we should be focused on turning these scary truths into reassuring facts that promote public confidence in […]

It’s Time to Hold Legislators Accountable

Seven years ago Oklahoma voters demanded greater public investment in local mental health and addiction treatment instead of incarceration. All these years later – the legislature still has not appropriated the funds as required. Instead, Oklahoma’s 77 counties  are drowning  as they take on the impossible task of confronting the mental health and substance abuse crisis without adequate resources. It’s […]

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform’s 2023 Policy Agenda Reveal

Oklahoma is an outlier – both nationally and globally – when it comes to mass incarceration . Oklahoma has the third highest incarceration rate in the country while Oklahomans serve nearly double the sentence length of Kansans for common property crimes. Oklahoma has historically embraced the “tough on crime” approach, but this strategy has not made us any safer. The […]

It’s Time for Oklahoma to Care About Data Collection

How many Oklahomans are currently behind bars? How long have they been there, and on what charges? How many are detained pre-trial, without having been convicted of anything? The State of Oklahoma cannot answer any of these basic and fundamental questions because we are relying on data systems that are decades old. Oklahoma is being left behind in an increasingly […]

Previewing the Legislative’s Upcoming Interim Studies

Interim studies begin this month at the Oklahoma Capitol. These studies serve as a deep dive into specific policy issues that are presented to lawmakers while the state legislature is not in session. Interim studies offer a chance for legislators to learn more deeply about an issue that may have slipped through the cracks for one reason or another. This […]

Narrowly Avoided Legislative Mistakes

With the close of session, we would be remiss if we neglected to highlight some of the harmful criminal legal bills that almost made it into law. Criminal legal advocates across the state banded together to ensure many of these harmful bills did not pass, but the public has a right to know what bills are being advocated for by […]

Oklahoma 2022 Legislative Successes

As the legislative session draws to a close – it is important to take stock of the gains we made as a state. This session featured several monumental successes for criminal justice reform, and we are proud of the work achieved by criminal legal advocates of all stripes. In order to better understand the steps taken by the state, I […]