Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin kicked off a comprehensive review of the state’s criminal justice system in an effort to curb Oklahoma’s growing prison population and improve public safety through more effective sentencing and release policies and corrections practices.
Before a packed room in the Governor’s chambers, Governor Fallin informed state leaders, justice stakeholders and the state’s media that the Crime and Justice Institute would bring its extensive criminal justice policy expertise and provide technical assistance throughout the process.
Governor Fallin established, through an Executive Order, the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force to conduct the analysis and make formal recommendations to be considered by the legislature in the 2017 legislative session. The Crime and Justice Institute, with its partners at The Pew Charitable Trusts, have been working in Oklahoma since June to collect and analyze data and information throughout the system. The Governor’s commitment to the reform effort was evident as she led the 17-person Task Force through a 2 1/2 hour presentation of Oklahoma’s prison population trends and drivers conducted by CJI’s lead data analyst Felicity Rose.
The Crime and Justice Institute and Pew’s public safety performance project have collaborated on similar criminal justice reform efforts in more than 12 states across the country through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative of the Bureau Of Justice Assistance of the Department of Justice. As a result, each state has developed fiscally sound, data-driven legislation that protects public safety, holds offenders accountable and controls costs.