Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform provides a fast-paced, statewide, high-impact work environment for qualified individuals dedicated to the criminal justice reform movement in Oklahoma.

There are currently no openings, but we have plenty of opportunities to volunteer with us! Build your volunteer profile to get started today.

If you are wondering why it is vital to volunteer…

The most important reason is because history shows future change isn’t possible without community engagement

At the end of 2016, Oklahoma had the highest incarceration rate in the country, with Oklahomans 65% more likely to be in jail or prison than someone who lived in another state. Recognizing that these high rates of incarceration were not making Oklahoma safer, more just, or more productive, voters and policymakers started to make long overdue changes to the criminal justice system. 

These changes began with citizen-led ballot initiatives, SQ780 and SQ781. These and other bipartisan reforms advanced policy changes that have reduced the prison population by more than 20% and helped thousands of Oklahomans reunite with their families and contribute to their communities. Even after all this progress, Oklahoma still has the third-highest overall imprisonment rate and the second-highest women’s imprisonment rate in the country. 

Incarceration is not only an urban phenomenon. In fact, according to the data, on a per capita basis, our most rural counties often lock up the most people in jail and send the most people to prison. Today, the highest rates of prison admissions are in rural counties, and pretrial detention continues to increase in smaller counties even as it is on the decline in larger counties. Rural counties are in dire need of resources and stakeholders to fight for their best interest. While bigger cities have non-profits and stakeholders to pick up the slack, rural counties are left behind. 

Oklahoma has made progress on criminal justice reform, but there is still more work to do. Progress is possible. Voters and policymakers have taken important first steps, but more reforms are needed to strengthen Oklahoma’s economy, communities, and families. Join us as we work across the state to keep families united and reduce the generational harm of mass incarceration in Oklahoma.

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