Oklahoma HB 1792
Despite recent progress, Oklahoma still has the fourth-highest imprisonment rate in the country and spends more than HALF A BILLION dollars every year on the prison system with few public safety benefits.
A primary reason for this high imprisonment rate is Oklahoma’s outdated criminal code, which includes broad sentence ranges. As a result, individuals spend significantly longer in prison than people in other states for the same crimes, particularly nonviolent drug and property offenses.
House Bill 1792 creates a felony classification system for Oklahoma that will create consistency and clarity while safely reducing the prison population. It accomplishes this by:
- Organizing the 1,100 felonies in Oklahoma’s criminal code into 15 classes.
- Creating consistent sentence ranges for each class that match the severity of the crimes in that class.
- Ensuring enhancements are used appropriately based on the individual’s criminal history.
- Retaining the current sentencing guidelines for 85% crimes.
HB1792 is a common-sense reform that will create consistency and clarity in Oklahoma’s criminal code while safely reducing the prison population and saving taxpayers’ money.
House Bill 1792 is authored by Rep. Mike Osburn in the House and Senator Dave Rader in the Senate.
The current proposal for HB1792 builds off the work of the Senate last year
- In 2022, the Senate passed SB1646 sponsored by Sen. Dave Rader which accomplish the same goals as HB1792. The proposal for HB1792 contains the same felony offense classes as SB1646 from 2022, but includes a few notable changes:
- Increases maximum sentences based on criminal history in every offense class, even the lowest levels.
- Establishes presumptive probation (deferred or suspended sentence) for low-level offenses in Class C1 through D3 when the person has a minimal criminal history.
- Establishes sentence enhancements for people with prior convictions that are proportionate to the underlying offenses.
- Establishes minimum time served requirements for offenses that do not currently have them.
At Right On Crime, we believe in being tough on crime while preserving public safety. HB1792 does that.
- Lawmakers must balance two responsibilities: protecting public safety and ensuring that all Oklahomans are treated fairly by the justice system. Good policies can and should accomplish both.
- Adopting a felony classification system–which 36 states currently use–could lend consistency to Oklahoma’s criminal justice system and offer clarity to defendants and judges alike.
- Our justice system should use prison to incapacitate dangerous offenders and career criminals. Prison should be used as a sanction for those who genuinely require detention to correct behavior and to protect the public. House Bill 1792 is written with that goal in mind.
- Your support of HB1792 will move Oklahoma towards a more just criminal system and allow our limited resources to be focused on the individuals who are truly a threat to public safety.