Quinton Chandler

StateImpact Oklahoma

Quinton Chandler joined StateImpact Oklahoma in January 2018, focusing on criminal justice reporting.

He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with degrees in Economics and Marketing. Chandler was a student reporter at KOSU, and later a host and reporter at KBBI Radio in Homer, Alaska and education reporter at KTOO Public Media in Juneau, Alaska.

Quinton loves writing, reading and has an intense relationship with his Netflix account.

Ways to Connect

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Police Sgt. Jeff Crawford is breaking his routine. He’s leaving the office and climbing into his squad car because Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers and supporters are rallying at the state Capitol to demand more school funding.

Crawford is a school resource officer who normally works out of Douglass Mid-High School. He has left his post temporarily to check on elementary schools and community centers in eastern Oklahoma City that are feeding kids who depend on the meals they get in school.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Updated 5:25 p.m.

Public schools from every corner of the state closed their doors today as teachers walked out of the classroom and marched at the Oklahoma capitol to protest years of cuts to education funding.

Last week, Governor Mary Fallin signed the first statewide tax increase in nearly 30 years to give teachers a roughly $6,100 raise. The nearly $450 million deal increased taxes on cigarettes, fuel and oil and gas production in hopes of heading off the teacher walkout.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gunshots ring through the chapel of First United Methodist Church. An instructional video simulating shooting rampages plays on a projector screen hanging above the pulpit between two banners that read “Good Shepherd” and “Lion of Judah.”

It’s a weeknight at the church in Newkirk. More than 150 churchgoers from communities across northern Oklahoma listen as the movie narrator reminds them the U.S. has averaged “an active shooter event with four or more deaths, every 2.9 months” since 2006.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma wants to start executing prisoners again and officials want to use nitrogen gas. Oklahoma would be the first state to use nitrogen for an execution.

The state ordered a moratorium on executions in October 2015 after major problems with three lethal injections.

State legislators are moving to expand a powerful self defense law to give Oklahomans in places of worship a legal shield, if they kill in self defense.

The law known as Stand Your Ground gives people who kill or seriously wound someone in self defense immunity from prosecution — even if they didn’t try to evade the danger first.

That law could could soon cover churches, synagogues, mosques and any other “building, structure or office space … used for worship services.”

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday announced a compromise between district attorneys and Republican lawmakers on six bills they say will reduce Oklahoma’s prison population while maintaining public safety.

One criminal justice reform advocacy group is criticizing the timing of the announcement because the bills’ language still hasn’t been made public.

 

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

More than 30 people sit uncomfortably on hard, wooden benches under the watchful eyes of Judge Tim Henderson. It’s late morning in Henderson’s courtroom at the Oklahoma County courthouse. Some people have been waiting for hours.

Most of these people are on probation, and they’re anxiously waiting for their chance to make a deal. Judge Henderson says these people broke their plea agreements.

COMING TO TERMS

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has stopped hiring for the rest of the budget year to prepare for potential funding cuts.

Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh decided to freeze hiring after the state Legislature voted down a series of tax increases known as the Step Up Oklahoma plan, Monday.

Flickr / Wesley Fryer

The Oklahoma House approved legislation on Tuesday that reduces sentences for property crimes like larceny and forgery.

Republican Terry O’Donnell of Catoosa authored the bill. He says it will lower the state's overall incarceration rate and the number of women in prison — many of which are convicted for non-violent crimes like writing bad checks.

O'Donnell's office says prison admissions for property crimes grew by almost 30 percent recent years. The average sentence for those convictions has also increased over time.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Twenty years is a long time to live with a drug addiction, but Rachel Wachel has done it. She tends bar, has a house and a car — and calls herself a functioning addict.

“I’m very open and honest about it because what do you do besides try to work with it the best way you can,” she says, exiting an an Oklahoma County courtroom.

Wachel’s lawyer is working to get her a suspended sentence for a misdemeanor drug possession charge. She’s addicted to opiate painkillers and says she takes half a pill three times a day.

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