Criminal Justice

Oklahoma has some of the highest incarceration rates in the nation, taking a toll on our state’s budget, families and workforce. Moreover, our state’s incarceration approach often fails to properly address root issues such as mental illness or addiction. Oklahoma needs evidence-based criminal justice programs that focus on treatment and rehabilitation to save costs and reduce recidivism. Our research analyzes crime statistics, workforce impacts, prison funding levels and best practices to help safely lower Oklahoma’s prison population.



Issue Brief: Certificates of Rehabilitation

Issue Brief: Certificates of Rehabilitation

April 15, 2019

While Oklahoma has taken initial steps to reform the criminal justice system and reduce the state’s prison population, there are lessons to be learned from several states which have already introduced innovative criminal justice practices to better ensure public safety and reduce recidivism. One step that many states have taken is by offering Certificates of Rehabilitation to certain, qualified former inmates. Certificates of Rehabilitation attest to the efforts formerly incarcerated people have taken to rehabilitate themselves and serve to advise potential employers about individuals’ good standing and transformation.

Issue Brief: Incarceration in Oklahoma

Issue Brief: Incarceration in Oklahoma

November 12, 2018

Oklahoma has long led the country and the world in its rate of incarcerating women, but in 2018, the state assumed the position of being the number one incarcerator of its citizens, both men and women, as Louisiana, the state which had long led the nation in incarcerating its citizens, decreased its imprisonment rate. In the past few years, a number of criminal justice reform measures have been passed by the Legislature, or by the voters, aimed at decreasing Oklahoma’s incarceration rate.  What have these reforms accomplished and what can Oklahoma learn from Louisiana’s success in reducing its incarceration rate?