If current laws were applied to people sentenced before July 2017, 484 years would be cut from Oklahoma's total sentences. Oklahomans agree that sentences are too long. Through the commutation process, we can start to correct this gap one person at a time.
This measure reclassifies drug possession as a misdemeanor crime — one that no longer comes with a prison sentence. 58 percent of Oklahomans vote to reduce penalties and reinvest savings out of prison and into community treatment.
FWD.us joins Oklahomans for Criminal Justice reform at the state capitol to call for the passage of reforms based on recommendations of the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force. FWD.us presents recently released data from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Among the findings, 77 percent of people admitted to prison in FY 2017 were sentenced for nonviolent crimes.
State legislators pass and Governor Fallin signs seven reform bills based on recommendations of the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force. The package of reforms brought sentences for low level drug and property crimes more in line with other states, streamlined the parole process for nonviolent offenses, and expanded opportunities for record expungement. Together, the bills will avert two-thirds of Oklahoma’s projected prison growth.
In May of 2018, FWD.us partners with OCJR to launch Project Commutation, a campaign to commute the sentences of 46 women and men serving decades-long sentences for drug possession and low-level drug offenses.
On November 1, 2019, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted to recommend the commutation of sentences for hundreds of Oklahomans. This docket was promptly signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt, which resulted in the release of 462 Oklahomans (a total of 1,931 years commuted) to be reunited with their families and communities.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court rules about 250,000 signatures are sufficient to place SQ 805 on an upcoming ballot. The 10-day challenge period ends with no activity.
The Yes on 805 campaign is fueled by the tireless efforts of a diverse coalition of actors across the state — including faith and business leaders, directly-impacted people, community advocates, and other Oklahomans who are fighting to transform the state’s criminal justice system.
Oklahomans are fed up with being one of the country’s top incarcerators and the criminal justice reform movement in the state is larger, more diverse, and more committed than ever before. This session, a bipartisan coalition is pushing for sentencing reforms that will safely reduce the prison population and invest savings in domestic violence services and violence prevention programs.