Oklahoma City, OKRight On Crime, a national criminal justice campaign and dedicated advocate for crime reduction through conservative initiatives, commends the recent report from the MODERN Justice Taskforce in Oklahoma. This collaborative effort, comprising of representatives from the Governor’s office, Senate, House, and Administrative Office of the Courts, is committed to understanding and addressing the complex issues surrounding the growth of local jail populations and associated costs in the state.

“Oklahoma’s historical embrace of the “tough on crime” mentality resulted in an overburdened court system, overcrowded jails and prisons, and strained budgets heavily reliant on fines and fees,” said Marilyn Davidson, Oklahoma State Director of Right On Crime.  “The MODERN Justice Taskforce’s report not only reveals existing challenges but also highlights emerging issues that demand immediate, well-considered conservative-driven solutions.”

The collaborative effort of the MODERN Justice Task Force analyzed community factors preceding arrest, trends in arrests, jail bookings, pretrial decision-making, the court process, and an individual’s release from jail. Despite a decade-long decline in crime and arrest rates, the report reveals a concerning 50 percent increase in the average length of stay in jail from 2013 to 2019.

“At Right On Crime, we passionately advocate for a justice system that effectively incapacitates dangerous offenders and rehabilitates low-risk offenders that are being returned to our communities,” said Davidson. “We stress the need for decision makers to rise above emotionally driven narratives, and support evidence-based solutions over media sensationalism.”

Right On Crime supports the following recommendations of Oklahoma’s MODERN Justice Task Force: 

  • Divert individuals in need of treatment away from jails by focusing on the causes of criminogenic behavior and investing in behavioral health programs across the state;
  • Expand alternatives to incarceration;
  • Utilize evidence-based processes to reduce unnecessary pretrial detention;
  • Streamline of the judicial process to reduce the length of stay in county jails;
  • Increase investment in victims’ services;
  • Devote more resources toward staffing for jails; and
  • Ensure accountability through the utilization of technology.

“Modifications to the justice system should be guided by a commitment to fairness and fiscal responsibility, in addition to prioritizing public safety and the rights of victims,” Davidson stated. “Right On Crime urges Oklahoma lawmakers to carefully consider the insights presented in this report and to be mindful of the shortcomings evident in states that embrace a tough-on-crime mentality for short-term political gains.”

Davidson continues, “Oklahoma conservative-driven initiatives must align with evidence-based practices, protect taxpayers, preserve public safety, produce tangible outcomes, and fortify communities. As conservatives, it is our duty to hold the government accountable, ensure transparency, support family values, protect civil liberties, advance freedom, and demand a justice system that proves beneficial to public safety for every hard-earned tax dollar.”

For these reasons, Right On Crime supports the recommendations of the MODERN Justice Taskforce, and look forward to working with the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches on implementing these important recommendations.