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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Allen McCall Resigns from Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board – Replaced with Former DA Richard Smothermon
Today the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board released its agenda for next week’s meeting. It states that the Board will be inducting a new member, Richard Smothermon. It is also clear from the Agenda that Comanche County Judge Allen McCall has stepped down from his service on the board.
The “American Dream” is a belief that anyone, regardless of race, gender, or religious beliefs can achieve the highest form of success and freedom while living in America but only through hard work and determination. While this belief has also been the goal of people that move to America from other countries/nations, for many Americans this belief is a fallacy that has been told throughout the years and in reality, gives a sense of false hope.
The announcement by the DOC that the William S. Keys Correctional Facility in Fort Supply, Oklahoma will close by the end of 2021 caused great commotion in Oklahoma–but not in the way it should have. Citizens and legislators alike lamented that the closing would wreak havoc on Fort Supply’s economy and acknowledged that the 140 employees of the facilities would lose their jobs or have to relocate to remain an employee of the Department of Corrections (DOC). While the loss of any number of jobs is unfortunate, the jobs could be replaced within Fort Supply by turning the land of William S. Keys into a new opportunity for economic growth and employment stability in Woodward County.
Oklahoma has a chance at substantive sentencing reform for the first time in its statehood and the people tasked with guiding that reform have released a draft proposal for what it might look like.