A state agency is preparing to launch a website next month to keep tabs on forensic evidence collected after a sexual assault. A Democratic lawmaker has also proposed legislation regulating how the system should be used.
State Question 780 reclassified drug possession and other felonies often associated with addiction as misdemeanors.
Drug court participation dropped after passage of a controversial state question in 2016. District attorneys and some court officials disagree whether the new law is to blame for the decrease.
Oklahoma City says it will take action if federal investigation finds recovery program broke any laws
Attorneys for the city met this week to discuss the Firstep men’s and women’s recovery program in response to a joint investigation by StateImpact Oklahoma and The Frontier.
Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest policy issues on deck for the upcoming year and legislative session.
An investigation by StateImpact Oklahoma and The Frontier found problems at some work-based recovery programs, including reports of confiscated disability checks and federal scrutiny for labor practices.
The 21 people released were helped through a months-long commutation process by advocacy group Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.
Funding for district attorneys’ offices is hard to come by. For years, the state has paid less than half the bill, leaving DAs to collect the rest from other sources like the federal government and criminal defendants.
This is the third year in a row the Department of Corrections has asked lawmakers for more than $1 billion in funding. Lawmakers’ last two appropriations to the agency were much lower than the requested amounts.
State officials are taking a program meant to help courts match felony defendants with treatment and rehabilitation services statewide.