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House keeps commitment to criminal justice reform

Mar 19, 2015 | by Lynn Powell

Seeking to reduce recidivism, enhance public safety and better manage the state’s crowded prisons, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed several criminal justice reform measures prior to the first legislative deadline last week. This year, Speaker Hickman created the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee to bring more focus to these important issues and the crisis facing the state. The House passed seven measures dealing with the issue of criminal justice reform ranging from expanding work opportunities for ex-offenders to how inmates are paroled, monitored and rehabilitated. “I thank my colleagues for their dedication to addressing this serious issue,” said Hickman. “Oklahoma has proven itself to be an innovator in public policy, and by advancing these measures we can also be a leader in criminal justice reform.” (see list of bills below)

OKLAHOMA CITY

    Seeking to reduce recidivism, enhance public safety and better manage the state’s crowded prisons, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed several criminal justice reform measures prior to the first legislative deadline last week.

    This year, Speaker Hickman created the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee to bring more focus to these important issues and the crisis facing the state.

    The House passed seven measures dealing with the issue of criminal justice reform ranging from expanding work opportunities for ex-offenders to how inmates are paroled, monitored and rehabilitated.

    “I thank my colleagues for their dedication to addressing this serious issue,” said Hickman. “Oklahoma has proven itself to be an innovator in public policy, and by advancing these measures we can also be a leader in criminal justice reform.”

    Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

    HB 1117 (Rep. Cleveland) – Strengthens the parole supervision process and expands Department of Corrections ability to incentivize good behavior using credits for 85 percent crimes.

    HB 1630 (Rep. Billy) – Streamlines inmate transfer process from county jail to Department of Corrections

    HB 1518 (Rep. Peterson) – Allows judges flexibility in modifying sentences for certain offenders.

    HB 1548 (Rep. Biggs) – Allows for judicial review of sentence modification after completion of Bill Johnson Correctional Center drug offender program

    HB 2168 (Rep. McCullough) – Modifies employment licensing requirements to expand work opportunities for former offenders.

    HB 2179 (Speaker Hickman) – Modifies provisional driver’s license and commercial driver’s license requirements to increase opportunities for former offenders to seek gainful employment.

    HB 2187 (Speaker Hickman) – Authorizes Pardon and Parole Board to use electronic monitoring of parolee.

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