The Frontier

The Frontier is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to hold public officials accountable, give a voice to the powerless and tell the stories that others are afraid to tell, or that illuminate the lives of people in our community.

The Frontier’s goal is to shine a light on hypocrisy, fraud, abuse and wrongdoing at all levels in our community and state. They strive to delve into complex issues and explain them to readers, arming them with the information they need to make change.

Ways to Connect

Shane Brown

Allison Herrera’s reporting was made possible by the Pulitzer Foundation’s Crisis Reporting Fund.

The law known as “enabling child abuse” has been criticized for its unfair sentencing, particularly regarding women. Advocates for criminal justice reform and women’s rights in the state of Oklahoma say that women bear the brunt of the punishment while men walk away with lesser sentences.

Courtesy of Anna Koski

Allison Herrera's reporting was supported by the Pulitzer Foundation.

Elizabeth Crafton got a 20-year sentence for failing to protect her young daughter from abuse. Her boyfriend, who was convicted of abuse in the case, received an 11-year sentence. It’s just one example of how women bear the brunt of a criminal justice system some in Oklahoma feel have gone too far.

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A boy who was sexually assaulted in a state-contracted group home in June was forced to sit in a plastic folding chair, isolated from other youth for several hours each day, according to the boy’s mother.

Speck Homes for Boys’ contract with the state of Oklahoma requires “24-hour awake intensive supervision” of the minors in its care. But the assault was captured on surveillance video in the home’s dining room just before noon on June 29 as staff and other youth bustled through the house.

Illustration by Dylan Goforth

Oklahoma state elected officials received nearly $2 million in campaign donations in the weeks leading up to, during and after this year’s legislative session, with two-thirds of those donations going to lawmakers, according to the most recent data from the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

Brianna Bailey / The Frontier

Dustin Misener started using drugs in his early teens growing up in rural Oklahoma. By his 30s, he was battling an addiction to methamphetamine and had racked up multiple drug-related convictions in Oklahoma.

“I was just getting out there pretty bad,” Misener said.

Misener, 32, is a U.S. Army veteran. Now he works cutting grass and setting up stage equipment for concerts. His hands are lined and calloused from a life of hard work.