OK State Representative Says Criminal Justice Reform Needs More Than SQ780 Gives

ARDMORE, Oklahoma (KXII) – A representative for the state of Southeastern Oklahoma has announced that he wants to amend State Issue 780 to improve criminal justice reform.

The measure was adopted five years ago. The hope was that by doing crimes like drug possession and low-intensity property crimes, prison populations would decrease.

Then SQ 781, which was also passed, required that the money saved by not housing another inmate to go to addiction and mental health services to help stop the cycle of indefinite delinquency. .

District 19 representative Justin Humphrey said it was difficult to measure the effect of SQ 780 on Oklahoma, but most people he spoke to didn’t think it worked.

“We have people who claim 780 is successful, but we don’t have a lot of data to show it,” Humphrey said. “If you go out and listen to the experts – we have judges, we have sheriff departments, we have police departments that say there are a lot of crimes happening that no one is arrested for. We have a lot of crimes happening where people repeat themselves, repeat crimes without any real supervision. “

Humphrey said if the crime continues to occur, it makes more sense to increase the sentence.

“I don’t have a problem if a person gets a misdemeanor, I don’t even think they might need supervision the first time around,” Humphrey said. “The second time, we put them under surveillance. If they continue in a pattern, they receive hospital treatment. Just a progressive discipline of common sense.

He said court costs should also be reassessed.

“Paying for everything statewide on the backs of these drug addicts and criminals isn’t fair,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey said the fees should instead fund a justice system that tries to stop criminals from committing the same crime again.

Humphrey said he didn’t like the idea of ​​someone sitting around in jail when they could learn a skill or improve their chances of success once released.

“When we train these people and get them certified, we can put them on ankle monitors, leave them as inmates in the community on ankle monitors.” said Humphrey. “If they don’t follow the supervision instructions, we can bring them back because we keep them as detainees. So they can go out, they can have a place, they start paying taxes. “

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