© 2023 KGOU
News and Music for Oklahoma
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Criminal Justice Reform Not Mentioned In Gov. Stitt's State Of The State Address

Legislative Service Bureau Photography.
Legislative Service Bureau Photography.
Gov. Stitt delivers his 2021 State of the State Address

In his speech marking the start of the year’s legislative session on Monday, Governor Kevin Stitt didn’t mention ongoing efforts to reduce the state’s prison population and overhaul the criminal justice system.


Kris Steele with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform says Stitt's State of the State address was a disappointment.

"I don’t think we can be a top 10 state until we get out of the bottom 10," said Steele. "Right now we are among the worst in the amount of people we are incarcerating per capita."

The state has made progress. The Vera Institute of Justice reports Oklahoma reduced its prison population by 22% in four years.

However, Steele says there’s a lot more work to do. This session reform advocates are once again asking lawmakers to eliminate harsher punishments for repeat nonviolent offenders, and invest more funding in mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Advocates also hope lawmakers vote to redefine and expand eligibility for medical parole and improve health care in prisons.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Quinton joined the team at StateImpact Oklahoma in 2017, focusing on criminal justice reporting. He is an OSU grad with degrees in Economics and Marketing who got his start in radio at KOSU. After graduation, Quinton served as Morning Edition Host/General Assignment Reporter at KBBI Radio in Homer, Alaska and Education Reporter at KTOO Public Media in Juneau, Alaska. Quinton loves writing, reading and has an intense relationship with his Netflix account.
More News
Support nonprofit, public service journalism you trust. Give now.