Oklahomans deserve a pretrial system that supports families. Our state currently has one of the highest pretrial incarceration rates in the country. This means that a significant number of legally innocent people are being held in jail prior to ever having a trial. Pretrial detention can last at times up to a year. This leads to costly overcrowding, a drain on our state. It also results in individuals' lives being upended – often losing their jobs, homes and breaking apart their families – all before being found guilty of any offense.

Moreover, the use of cash bail in Oklahoma is unconstitutional and disproportionately impacts low income families who cannot afford to pay for their release. The inability to pay is shown not only to disrupt family cohesion but also to have a negative impact on the outcome of the defendant’s case. Individuals held in pretrial detention are more likely to receive a conviction, harsher sentencing, and less likely to be referred to a diversionary or treatment program.From pretrial risk assessment to cash bail and prolonged detention our pretrial system needs to be reformed. Join us for the next community conversation as we learn more about our pretrial system and current efforts to reduce its harm on Oklahoman families