In response to the growing concerns about Oklahoma County’s jail facility, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber created a special Task Force to evaluate Oklahoma County’s criminal justice system and make recommendations to reduce incarceration, increase efficiencies and improve safety.
The work of the Task Force is in preparation for potential future investments in the county’s jail and other related facilities. The Task Force is chaired by Clayton I. Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder and president of Dorchester Capital.
The Chamber has contracted with the VERA Institute of Justice, an independent, nonpartisan social science think tank and consulting organization that has been working with local governments since 1961. They combine research, technical assistance and demonstration projects to help leaders in civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety.
“We sought out the nation’s preeminent organization supporting communities on this journey,” said Bennett. “It is active in 48 states and 10 countries worldwide. VERA’s understanding surrounding the issues and vast experience should help to expedite our project.”
The Chamber asked the institute to complete an initial analysis and make recommendations for next steps in the process. The Task Force will then consider those recommendations and develop an action plan for the remainder of 2016 and beyond. (Read more...)