Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate in the country, a consequence of locking up too many non-violent offenders with overly harsh punishments.
But that policy hasn’t made us safer or reduced crime. It only ensures that Oklahomans are faced with greater barriers to rejoining their communities.
We need policies that offer second chances to help formerly incarcerated individuals get back on their feet and support their families.
That’s why lawmakers passed HB 1269, which retroactively reclassified low-level drug offenses as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. This allowed Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board to commute the sentences of 527 incarcerated individuals.
Thankfully, Gov. Kevin Stitt approved the board’s commutations. That is great news for the Sooner State.
Thank Gov. Stitt for his actions and encourage him in his commitment to real criminal justice reform for Oklahoma.