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 […]

7 Things to Look for this Legislative Session

The Oklahoma Legislative Session, in accordance with Article 5, Section 26, of the Oklahoma Constitution, begins at noon on the first Monday in February and ends during the last Friday in May. This means the 2022 legislative session begins on February 7, 2022, a mere few weeks ahead. These early days of session are crucial for a bill gaining momentum […]

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 […]

Executive Clemency: A Core Conservative Value

By: Michael Olson Humanity and good policy conspire to dictate that the benign prerogative of pardoning should be as little as possible fettered or embarrassed. The criminal code of every country partakes so much of necessary severity, that without an easy access to exceptions in favor of unfortunate guilt, justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel. Alexander Hamilton, […]

Wayward Cops & Excessive Force: Police Accountability in Oklahoma

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Department Officer and years filled with protests and calls for reform, many state legislatures, including those under Republican control such as North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida, have passed legislation strengthening the power to decertify Police Officers engaging in misconduct, and provided mechanisms for sharing that information across […]

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 […]

Interim Study Report: District Attorney Accountability

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — A recent Interim Study Report outlines the best ways to provide accountability and transparency to prosecutors offices. The Oklahoma House of Representatives heard an interim study on the topic of District Attorney Accountability on August 30th, 2021 in the Judicary – Criminal Committee Chaired by Representative Rande Worthen. There is an office in government that has […]