Justice Reinvestment Initiative
Thanks to each of you as members in Oklahoma Women’s Coalition the momentum implementing recommended steps outlined in the Oklahoma SIS Public Agenda Action Plan continues to build and we want to keep you apprised of several successful outcomes this year! Our alliance with the Count the Cost (www.countthecosts.com) over the past year has had significant results!
Count the Cost encompassed collaborative efforts of key statewide associations which lead the way in raising awareness of best practices surrounding the issue of incarceration with state legislators, and lead advocacy efforts with their individual association members for the implementation of policy change to enact evidence based best practices in our criminal justice system. YOU helped to make the following things happen!
Two successful initiatives during the Spring 2011 legislative session:
House Bill 1197 passed with (all but unanimous) bipartisan support through both the House and Senate was then signed by the Governor and created a statewide task force to study children of incarcerated parents.
House Bill 2131 passed with (all but unanimous) bipartisan support through both the House and Senate was then signed by the Governor with four criminal justice reform components: 1.) expansion of the use of community sentencing, 2.) expansion of the use of GPS monitoring upon release from incarceration, 3.) implementation of eligibility requirements for members appointed to the State Pardon & Parole Board, and 4.) removed the Governor from the non-violent offender parole process.
Each initiative resulted in such strong bipartisan participation, that the State of Oklahomaapplied for and received a Justice Reinvestment grant through the Council on State Governments (www.justicereinvestment.org). Justice Reinvestment is a data-driven approach to reduce corrections spending and reinvest savings in strategies that can reduce crime, thus increasing public safety. (Tulsa World front page article June 24, 2011)
Your independent advocacy efforts assured House, Senate and Gubernatorial leadership of statewide bipartisan constituency support for each initiative. Congratulations! It is an exciting time and opportunity forOklahomacriminal justice reform.
Continue to check back with the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition website for future updates. You can stay connected to the issues that matter surrounding criminal justice reform and the mission of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition to improve the potential ofOklahomawomen and girls through education and advocacy.