Deadline for Submission: April 1, 2021

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to solicit proposals from consultants experienced in strategic planning to lead the Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) Board of Directors and staff through a long-range strategic planning process.

Specifically, OCJR is seeking a consultant to provide the following services:

  • Work with OCJR Board of Directors and staff to articulate a clear five-year strategic plan. This plan should identify organizational objectives as identified and prioritized by the Board through the planning process.
  • Conduct small scope internal and external interviews and/or surveys to evaluate OCJR’s successes to date and conduct a general SWOT analysis of internal and external perceptions of the organization.
  • Develop a timetable of implementation with specific measurable benchmarks, objectives and tasks to be accomplished to achieve goals. Identify clear, measurable outcomes for how to measure organizational and strategic effectiveness, impact, and success.
  • Establish a framework and process for the organization’s leadership to effectively implement the strategic plan and monitor progress toward achievement of goals and objectives.
  • Facilitate all meetings and provide leadership, direction and expert consultation and advice related to the development of an effective strategic plan, including successful implementation.
  • Deliverable should be a clear, easily consumed strategic planning roadmap accompanied by a strategic planning timeline, implementation, and evaluation methodology.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) was birthed out of a grass roots movement in 2015 in order to support State Questions 780 and 781. These initiatives changed the criminal justice trajectory in Oklahoma when they were passed by a vote of the people in November of 2016. SQ780 reduced some low-level drug and property felonies to misdemeanors. SQ781 provided that the fiscal savings to the prison system would be redirected into the counties for addiction treatment.  OCJR became a nonprofit 501(c)3 in 2018. 

OCJR continues to fight back against legislative efforts to overturn SQ780 and 781 and continues to develop policy that can bring Oklahoma to the national average in incarceration. OCJR partnered with the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office in 2018 in order to begin the process of commuting sentences for people who were convicted of low-level drug crimes but were serving longer than current law allowed.  That project led to the passage of HB1269 and hundreds of Oklahomans being reunited with their families through the largest commutation in history.

Though there have been major wins for criminal justice policy in Oklahoma, the state remains one of the country’s top incarcerators. Overall incarceration rates, incarceration of women, and incarceration of black people per capita are among the highest in the nation. There are opposing forces to criminal justice reform that have attempted to stall progress and politicize policy conversations.

Because incarceration is so damaging to families and communities, OCJR’s mission is sorely needed. But it isn’t just about getting people out of prison – this must be done strategically and safely to prevent people from returning to their communities before they are truly rehabilitated or before they have the resources to reintegrate into society.

Now that OCJR has a powerful team and mission in place, it is poised to accomplish these vital goals. By serving as a powerful voice for common sense, bipartisan reform OCJR has begun the conversation about incarceration in Oklahoma, and it is vital that this conversation continue to gain consensus across the state. Our justice system is oppressive to those with the fewest resources and it stifles economic growth and prosperity.

PLANNING CHALLENGES/SCOPE OF WORK:

OCJR is a young organization that continues to rise to prominence in the minds of the average Oklahoman. Its existence validates that there was a need for a leader and “neutral convener” in the space of justice reform in the state. There are still lingering “start-up” challenges, but the organization is facing the daunting task of changing staunchly entrenched and regressive criminal justice policies and attitudes.

There remains an outsized impact of incarceration on our state, and the Oklahoma criminal code is outdated. The state must place an emphasis on diversion over incarceration, and on data over anecdotes. These changes will not happen without a concerted effort and public pressure.

In developing a strategic plan, the provider must balance the constants in the environment with the unknowns in ways that will allow OCJR to develop into an organization that has impact and longevity.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS & TIMELINE:

1. OCJR is seeking proposals from consultants who are capable of addressing all the above stated management issues and who can provide additional expertise to help the organization and the community it serves achieve successful outcomes.

2. While OCJR understands that completing this project requires significant and active Board and staff involvement, it is important to note that the consultant selected will be responsible for completing all project work products and deliverables (e.g. writing the strategic plan).

3. Applicants are to propose which aspects of the project will require Board or staff involvement and include expected time requirements for all activities involving their participation.

4. Proposals must include a clear description of the applicant’s plan to complete all of the project components (i.e. what order projects will be completed, duration of project components).

5. Applicants must include in their project timelines “check-in” points for OCJR and Board to be provided with project status updates. As work products/deliverables are completed prior to the established check-in points, applicants will be required to send OCJR these materials to facilitate the status update meetings and/or conference calls. The chosen applicant will be responsible for setting up the check-in meetings/calls, preparing an agenda for strategic planning meetings/calls, sending out meeting invites and writing meeting minutes.

6. In addition to the check-in meetings and/or conference calls, the applicant will be expected to present a status update on her/his preliminary findings and recommendations prior to writing the final project deliverables and strategic plan.

7. OCJR will be responsible for implementing the recommendations from all final deliverables; however, it is expected that the consultant selected will provide the organization with ongoing coaching and implementation support as needed, per final agreement.

8. It is expected that the total cost for this project will not exceed $15,000.

Evaluation Criteria:

In awarding a contract for consulting services to develop a long-range strategic plan for the organization, OCJR will examine a number of factors those criteria will include:

1. The extent to which the proposal addresses the stated management issues and clearly describes the scope of work;

2. Specific plans or methodology to be used to perform the services;

3. Qualifications and experience of consultant in providing strategic planning development;

4. Availability for work to be conducted beginning June 2021 with strategic plan draft presented to the OCJR Board no later than at their September 2021 board meeting.

APPLICATION PROCESS & PROCEDURES:

Please provide a complete written response to this RFP that is double-spaced and does not exceed 15 single sided pages.

Proposals should include:

1. A brief Executive Summary

2. A description of the applicant’s general approach to strategic planning consultation, including methodology, perspective, or philosophy that guides your work with organizations in this undertaking

3. A clear explanation of how the consultant will address the planning opportunities and challenges to be examined at OCJR

4. A list of project deliverables to be created with a detailed timeline for each deliverable and projected overall project completion date

5. A detailed budget that breaks out expenses  

6. Credentials and qualifications of key personnel who will take responsibility for working directly on this project, including three references

7. Example(s) of a finished strategic plan created by your company.

Applicants must submit an electronic copy of the proposal. Please note that OCJR will not return any proposals it receives and will not reimburse applicants for any costs they incur in developing their proposals.

Send completed proposals no later than April 1, 2021, to Clint Castleberry at clint [at] okjusticereform.org.