Share “Backsplash: Inertia again bites justice...”

Backsplash: Inertia again bites justice reform plans

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: March 21, 2013
Advertisement

Chief Brody sized up the situation and spat out a Hollywood one-liner that's buoyed many a reference joke over the years: “You're gonna need a bigger boat.” This was scripted in “Jaws.”

What's eating Oklahoma today is that “prison reform” has been heavy on the prison and light on the reform. We're gonna need a bigger jail.

The latest reform effort was the 2012 Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). Last week, two men leading the effort walked off the set over frustration with continued inertia in prison reform. JRI is a proposal to help reduce violent crime and ease prison overcrowding by putting more money into crime prevention and prison avoidance and less into warehousing convicts.

Kris Steele, the former Republican Oklahoma House speaker, and David Prater, the Democratic Oklahoma County district attorney, sized up the situation and concluded that the anti-reform sharks are still circling in the water.

Steele and Prater abruptly quit as co-chairman of a JRI working group. This followed Gov. Mary Fallin's refusal to take $400,000 in federal funds that could have helped train people to implement the reforms. Pending legislation would politicize the implementation. Although Steele is a former politician and Prater a current one, they took a thoughtful, non-partisan approach to reform.

Continue reading this story on the...

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
+ show more


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Oklahoma officials investigating dog-skinning case
  2. 2
    Man charged with raping, beating ex-girlfriend is named Tulsa's Most Wanted fugitive
  3. 3
    Tulsa man accused of distributing child porn after undercover investigation
  4. 4
    Sister Helen Prejean appeals to governor to stay convicted killer Richard Glossip's execution
  5. 5
    Son and five others indicted on murder charges in Pryor woman's overdose death
+ show more

FEATURED JOBS



× Trending opinion Article