criminal justice reform
Let's make Oklahoma more compassionate & smarter on crime.
Debate against HB3073
"We considered a bill that would have made the transition from prison to work more difficult. In my debate against it, I took the opportunity to share a story from HD92. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch." - Forrest
Throughout the 2016 campaign and Forrest's first session, hundreds of constituents reached out about meaningful criminal justice reform.
In November, the voters said yes to meaningful criminal justice reform. This is reform that actually makes us safer, lowers prison costs, keeps families together and helps low-level offenders with substance abuse or mental health issues get the help they need to be productive members of society.
While Oklahoma’s voters took big steps toward criminal justice reform with passage of SQ780 and 781 in 2016, there’s still plenty to do. When our prisons are at 120% capacity and they’re understaffed, there’s a big problem. Mental illness and addiction are leading causes of incarceration.
If we can invest more in mental health and substance abuse, we’ll be able to save millions in tax dollars. After all, it costs Oklahoma around $5,000 to rehabilitate a person and over $20,000 a year to keep them in prison. Smart criminal justice reform will mean a safer and more prosperous Oklahoma for everyone.
Keeping families together keeps communities strong, and too many low-level offenders are locked away for years instead of being rehabilitated, leaving families broken. Our prisons are overcrowded and underfunded. It’s time, as they say, to “lock up the folks we’re scared of, not the ones we’re mad at.”