CATEGORY | Criminal Justice
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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.


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.


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.


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.


District attorney defeat could bring drug court to one of the only counties without one

A judge’s promise to bring a drug court to Pawnee County eventually led to a legal dispute with a district attorney who said the county couldn’t support drug court. The DA’s primary election loss may pave the way for a new attempt to bring the county a drug court.


Former Oklahoma senator sentenced to 15 years for child sex trafficking 

Former state senator Ralph Shortey was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child sex trafficking.


Can Oklahoma learn from Louisiana’s criminal justice reform?

Louisiana and Oklahoma are both trying to reduce their prison populations and lower the costs of their justice systems. Louisiana is seeing good results. Many of Oklahoma’s reforms haven’t gone into effect, but experts predict they’ll have a limited effect.


Updated: September 11, 2018 | 9:38 pm

Oklahoma City Council hears testimony on proposal to reduce penalties for marijuana and paraphernalia

The Oklahoma City Council held a public hearing on an ordinance that would end jail sentences for simple possession of marijuana if adopted.


Advocates see hope in Marsy’s Law ballot question, experts raise questions

Marsy’s Law would make several changes to the state constitution. The campaign’s goal is to expand victims’ rights in Oklahoma and put them on more equal footing with criminal defendants.

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