Criminal Justice Reform Bills to Advocate For

The Oklahoma Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives hit one of their big deadlines on March 11th, 2021. That deadline requires that all bills that will advance to become law be passed off the floor in their house of origin before that date. This ensures enough time for the bill to pass through the opposite house and go to the governor's desk for signing before the legislature completes its work for the year at the end of May.

You can find the remaining deadlines for this legislative session here.

While not all criminal justice reform bills passed the committee deadline, there are still several good bills in play. Here is a list of bills that have a lot of positive impacts like: improving the lives of justice involved people, help ease reentry concerns, broadening the sentencing power of juries, providing important job training opportunities, and easing driver's license restrictions for people with criminal convictions.

Bill Number/
Short Title Authors DescriptionCurrent Status SB 320 – Medical Parole Reform Jessica Garvin (R) Micheal Bergstrom (R)Marcus McEntire (R)Allowing people who are medically frail or medically vulnerable during a catastrophic health emergency to be released from prison on medical parole if they do not pose a risk to public safety.Passed in Senate, referred for engrossment (3/10/21)HB 2567 - Hospice Care Training ProgramChad Caldwell (R), Greg McCortney (R), Ajay Pittman (D), Cynthia Roe (R)Establishing a Nurse Aide training program for eligible incarcerated people to provide end-of-life care to other incarcerated people. A certificate of completion will be issued. Assigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee, then to Senate AppropriationsHB 2320 - Jury SentencingAvery Frix (R)Greg Treat (R)Cyndi Munson (D)Authorizing juries to recommend suspended or deferred sentences.Assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee HB 1679 - Sarah Stitt ActMarilyn Stark (R), Darrell Weaver (R), Justin Humphrey (R), Brian Hill (R), Garry Mize (R), Logan Phillips (R), Melissa Provenzano (D), John Talley (R)Ensuring incarcerated people have an ID and SSID card before discharge, vocational training and completed course record, and documentation of practice job interview completionAssigned to the Senate Public Safety Committee, then to Senate AppropriationsSB 951 - Preventing Jailing for Failure to PayJulie Daniels (R), Terry O’Donnell (R)Authorizing police officers to cite and release someone if they have a warrant for failure to appear. Allowing courts to modify or reduce or waive payment if demonstrates inability to pay fines and fees. Setting factors to determine willful lack of payment. Non-willful failure to pay is not a jailable offense. Passed in Senate, referred for engrossment (3/11/21)HB 1795 - Driver’s License Reinstatement Nicole Miller (R), Kim David (R), Daniel Pae (R), John Talley (R), Eric Roberts (R)Modifying period of driver license revocation. Allowing people who can demonstrate enrollment in a federal or state assistance program to be granted a modified payment plan upon request. Modifying eligibility for a provisional license and lowering the minimum payment plan for outstanding fees and costs from $25 per month to $5 per month.Referred to Senate Public Safety Committee