History of Legislation
Governor Mary Fallin (R) signed into law an ALEC-style safety valve that was drafted narrowly to affect only lower-level drug offenders. She urged lawmakers to follow up on that reform by eliminating all state mandatory minimums for drug possession charges. FAMM strongly supported this proposal and reached out to lawmakers in the state. With support from both the House and Senate, a series of criminal justice reforms were sent to Governor Fallin.
HB 1574 (2015) reduces the sentence range for a third or subsequent conviction for felony drug sale, distribution, or manufacturing. Previously, such a conviction garnered a sentence of life without parole. The sentence range is now 20 years to life or life without parole. However, a sentence of life without parole is still mandated for those who have two or more previous convictions for drug trafficking.
Governor Fallin signed HB 2479, a bill that repeals mandatory minimum sentences for first-and second drug possession offenses, and reduces the maximum sentences for those crimes. This is a big step forward for smarter sentencing in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections Budget: $441.8 million
State Expenses: $453.4 million
Avg Annual Cost per inmate: $18,467
State Population: 3.878 million people
State Incarceration Population: 28,095 people
You can do several things to work toward reforming your state’s sentencing laws – go to our get involved page to find out how.
March 14, 2017
Originally seen in Take Part In his first eight sessions as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Kris Steele paid scant attention to crime and punishment. But, in 2008, Steele’s work on the state budget put Oklahoma’s prison system in his sights for the first time. What he saw, he says, “puzzled and dismayed” him…. Read more »
March 7, 2017
Originally posted in Public Radio Tulsa. Work continues on criminal justice reform in Oklahoma with the approval of two measures by a House committee. House Bill 2281 from Rep. Terry O’Donnell raises the felony threshold and reduces the penalties on several property crimes, including using a stolen debit or credit card or receiving stolen property…. Read more »
March 7, 2017
Originally seen in Tulsa World. OKLAHOMA CITY — The pitched battle over criminal justice reforms isn’t over, and dozens of people showed up at the state Capitol on Thursday to prove it. They came to rally against House Bill 1482, which reinstates some parts of criminal law that were repealed by the statewide adoption of… Read more »
March 7, 2017
Originally seen in The Frontier Criminal justice reforms were voted in overwhelmingly in November. The months since have been anything but kind to the little state questions that could. The reforms — State Questions 780 and 781— go into effect in July and reclassify drug possession — what proponents referred to as “personal use amounts” of… Read more »