Move to improve openness is good idea by Oklahoma parole board
Residents should be encouraged by that approach, and by the board's efforts to improve transparency. Oklahoma County's district attorney has been critical of how the board places inmates on its docket for early parole consideration. At their meeting this week, board members discussed a change that would place names of those inmates on meeting agendas, allowing prosecutors and the public ample time to weigh in.
A retooling of the board's website by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services is in the works and should make dockets easier to find and understand. Consideration is being given to centralized mailing and email addresses through OMES for the public to use.
These are changes for the better, and so is SQ 762. One parole board official estimated that perhaps 70 nonviolent offenders per month will wind up being paroled under the new law. That translates to about 850 per year from a prison population of roughly 26,000. Every other state somehow manages to handle most parole cases without the governor riding shotgun. Oklahoma will, too.