criminal justice

Washita-Custer County Treatment Court

Recovering from drug addiction requires personal accountability, but that’s hard to do from home. So, Oklahoma drug courts have to innovate to maintain service and a social distance.

Women in prison, when compared with incarcerated men, often receive disproportionately harsh punishments for minor violations of prison rules, according to a report released Wednesday by a federal fact-finding agency.

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.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The last executions in Oklahoma were embarrassing failures.

Before he died, Clayton Lockett writhed and moaned on his gurney. Charles Warner said his body was “on fire.” Richard Glossip’s execution had to be called off at the last minute.

twitter.com/OklaDOC

Governor Kevin Stitt commuted prison sentences for 147 people Friday who were convicted of crimes that Oklahoma voters chose to make misdemeanors.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The outside world was overwhelming when Robin Wertz was released from prison in 2007. Today, she helps others who are having that same experience as the site director of Exodus House, a transitional housing unit that helps people get back on their feet.

“We can’t go back out into crime-ridden drug-infested neighborhoods,” Wertz said. “We have to provide communities where they’re getting the resources they need and they’re being inspired.”

In her office, she has a file cabinet filled with neatly organized folders holding dozens of letters from prisoners hunting for a home.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

People just released from prison could save themselves a lot of time and frustration if they talk to Robert Scott, the director of justice services at HOPE Community Services – a nonprofit that partners with the state to help people with behavioral health challenges.

Scott leads a team that helps especially vulnerable people leaving state custody get back on their feet.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed a bill restoring voting rights to more than 80,000 people who are on probation or parole, making New Jersey one of several states to enact legislation granting former felons access to the ballot box.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

In a first-of-its-kind federal class action lawsuit, people who have been locked up in the Canadian County Jail claim the court’s bail system discriminates against people with mental disabilities.

The plaintiffs also claim the Canadian County District Court and five of its judges routinely set bail without considering whether it’s affordable.

Pages