Oklahoma City joins county-wide criminal justice reform panel

The city of Oklahoma City has four seats on a new Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Advisory Council.

The council is to conduct research and promote policies to enhance public safety while improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system in Oklahoma County.

A primary focus of reform will be the troubled Oklahoma County jail.

A chief goal is finding strategies for diverting offenders from jail to alternatives, such as mental health and addiction treatment.

The Oklahoma City Council gave its OK to an "interlocal" agreement that establishes a framework for the council.

Oklahoma City's city manager, police chief, presiding Municipal Court judge and court administrator will be members.

The council also includes:

• The president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the city's leading business organization.

• The district attorney, public defender, sheriff, and presiding judge of the District Court.

• A county commissioner, and the city managers of Edmond and Midwest City.

• Four members of the public, to be selected by the council.

• The commissioner of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Read the rest of the story at NewsOK.com.