New Task Force Plans Reforms for Overcrowded Oklahoma County Jail

By Kate Carlton Greer Dec 2, 2015

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Wednesday outlined a new approach to reform Oklahoma County’s overcrowded jail and increase public safety. Members of the Criminal Justice Task Force hope to implement an action plan starting as early as next year.

The task force is designed to evaluate the criminal justice system in Oklahoma County with help from the VERA Institute of Justice, an independent think tank based in New York.

Task force chairman Clay Bennett says one goal is to reassess who is booked into the Oklahoma County jail in the first place.

"The majority of people in this jail should not be there. The driver is, in large measure, people dealing with addiction issues and people dealing with mental health issues.”

Bennett said the task force would likely propose a temporary county sales tax to begin addressing problems within the local criminal justice system. Other task force members include city leaders like Mayor Mick Cornett and Devon Energy Chairman Larry Nichols.

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