criminal justice

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

In 2016, Oklahoma voters passed two state questions intended to reduce the state’s prison population. Every year since, lawmakers have introduced bills designed to help decrease the number of people serving time.

Courtesy: Spencer Bryan / Bryan & Terrill Law

When a private citizen’s civil rights are violated by the government, typically, they have the opportunity to sue, but under a recent Oklahoma Supreme Court decision, that might not be the case for inmates in Oklahoma jails and detention centers.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about an awareness campaign from supporters of Medicaid Expansion as they get ready to gather signatures pending a legal challenge to their ballot initiative, Oklahoma Director of Corrections announces his retirement abruptly at a meeting Wednesday and the Pardon and Parole Board discusses implementation of House Bill 1269 which makes could reduce prison time for several Oklahomans. 

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Multiple polls show the majority of Oklahoma voters support criminal justice reforms.

Survey data commissioned by Oklahoma Public Radio stations for the Oklahoma Engaged project also suggest a majority of voters believe the state’s sentencing laws need to be reworked.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a bill signed by Governor Stitt which he had originally vetoed giving patients the right to choose their own pharmacy provider and lawmakers pass a measure putting restrictions on the powers of the Attorney General over settlements.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

In 1998, Ichard Oden committed a crime that got him sent away for two decades. He was 19.

He got out of prison in February. Today, he's a 40-year-old man with very little job experience.

As it turns out, Oden is coming back into society at a time when the economy is booming and attitudes toward people with criminal records are changing.

Editor's Note: This story includes accounts of self-harm and attempted suicide.

On a late afternoon in September 2015, a 27-year-old transgender inmate named Adree Edmo wrote a note in her cinder block prison cell at the Idaho State Correctional Institution.

She insisted that what she was about to do was not an attempt at suicide.

The note read, "I do not want to die, but I am a woman, and women do not have these."

Edmo then attempted to castrate herself.

Edmo didn't succeed, but she would go on to try again.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a row in a Senate committee over a gubernatorial nomination for Finance Secretary as worry grows concerning executive power over state agencies, criminal justice advocates worry about a former corrections reform opponent working on Stitt's team and the House opens an investigation against a Republican lawmakers leveled by the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party.

Should people convicted of a crime be allowed to vote while in prison?

It's a question that's divided 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and sparked attacks from President Trump and his allies.

At a CNN town hall event on April 22, presidential hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked whether his support for allowing inmates to vote would extend to Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his role in the 2013 attack.

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