VERA report to Oklahoma County Task Force

Date: December 23, 2015 

To: Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Task Force

Subject: Preliminary Observations and Recommendations on Addressing Jail Population Growth in Oklahoma County  

From: Vera Institute of Justice 

Nancy Fishman, Project Director, Center on Sentencing and Corrections Rebecca Silber, Senior Program Associate, Center on Sentencing and Corrections 

I. INTRODUCTION This memorandum summarizes the Vera Institute’s (Vera) preliminary observations on the local criminal justice system and possible drivers of jail population growth in Oklahoma County and outlines some opportunities for reform that could be explored to safely reduce the jail population. 

Vera undertook this work at the request of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and conducted a three-day site visit to Oklahoma City from November 17-19, 2015. During that visit, Vera staff toured the Oklahoma County Detention Center and met with representatives from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma City Police Department (“OCPD”), the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office, the City of Oklahoma City Manager’s Office, the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, TEEM, a district judge from the Seventh Judicial Circuit, Oklahoma County Court Services, the Inasmuch Foundation and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Those conversations informed this memo, along with Vera’s independent research and data analysis.

See the entire report.

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