CATEGORY | Criminal Justice
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State investigators say sexual assault kit tracking system will aid investigations, inform victims

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.

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Legislators launch bipartisan effort to make State Question 780 retroactive

State Question 780 reclassified drug possession and other felonies often associated with addiction as misdemeanors.

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Prosecutors and court officials disagree on reason for downturn in drug court participation

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.

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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.

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A preview of the big issues StateImpact is watching in 2019

Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest policy issues on deck for the upcoming year and legislative session.

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Working for sobriety: Recovery program took some clients’ disability pay

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.

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Twenty-one people leave prison after Gov. Fallin commutes drug-related sentences 

The 21 people released were helped through a months-long commutation process by advocacy group Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.

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The cost of prosecution: DA says defendants pay too much of Oklahoma’s criminal justice tab

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.

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Expensive problems prompt $1 billion budget request from prisons agency

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.

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Agency expands screening program to steer defendants away from prison time

State officials are taking a program meant to help courts match felony defendants with treatment and rehabilitation services statewide.

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