Press Contact: Jeremy Cherson, Director of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK) — On Feb. 2, the MODERN Justice Task Force released its report on how to reduce the jail population and improve public safety in Oklahoma. The Bail Project offered the following statement in response:
“The MODERN Justice Task Force report, released last week, marks a significant first step for pretrial system reform in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the United States. On any given day, there are about 9,000 people in jail in Oklahoma – the majority (nearly 70%) of whom are held in pretrial incarceration because they cannot afford the cost of their freedom. For too long, policy makers have been able to skirt the crisis of pretrial jailing due to the lack of a state-wide, uniform system of data collection and reporting. But this is precisely what the Task Force calls for in their new report. In order to reduce the jail population, address the needs of people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders, and ultimately create community safety for all Oklahomans – urban and rural, we need a centralized system to collect and publicly report pretrial data. We urge lawmakers to follow the lead of the Task Force by legislating a comprehensive data collection and reporting bill.”
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