Oklahoma failure to protect statues allows children to be removed from non-abusive parents and allows those parents to be charged with the actions of the other parents. This prevents victims of domestic violence from seeking help without fear of losing their children.
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Violent felons from drug trafficers may take counselling and continue as law abiding citizens of the community but are not only exempted from any employment assistance but are punished via registries and housing restrictions. Something shoud be done to assist them in rejoining a productive segment of life rather than continuing qa lifetime of punishment and harrasment.
Prisons in Oklahoma a far too populated with inmates who should otherwise receive alternative sentencing. The "lock 'em up" mentality does nothing to improve or protect our citizens. There are alternatives to incarcerating people who have committed non-violent or a first time offense.
It is less costly in the long run to provide alternatives like treatment programs for drugs & alcohol abuse, anger management, sex offender treatment, gambling addition, etc. Surely we are intelligent enough to create a better society without building more prisons for non-violent and non-habitual offenders. Let's work on ways to make them better citizens (because they will get out of prison) and spend less resources in the process.
Can Oklahoma put aside knee jerk emotional responses to crime? Can we evaluate what is actually justice instead of creating laws to manipulate votes? "Feel good" laws or "tough on crime" laws do little for the future safety and well being of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is one of the incarceration capitals of the World. The Department of Corrections is the second largest department in the state. It has an average budget of $450 million each year. A lot of this tax payer money could be saved by implementing the following ideas. First, shorten all prison sentences to five years or less if the crime is not deserving of death. Second, eliminate the sex offender and violent offender registry. Third, allow all offenders the opportunity to seek a criminal record expungement. Next, completely eliminate the Governor from the pardon and parole process. Also, reduce the living restrictions ban for sex offenders from 2000 to 1000 feet from schools, parks, etc. Finally, close down Oklahoma State Reformatory located in Granite and the Oklahoma State Penitentiary located in McAlester. Replace them with one new facility located inside the Oklahoma City limits and on the Metro Transit Bus Route. Locking people up and throwing away the key is not the answer. Oklahoma legislators need to start dealing with this issue and stop allotting the Department of Corrections more tax payers' money to do nothing more than contribute to an ever growing problem.
Cannabis has been used by mankind since 4000 BC across the world for pain, arthritis, muscle spasms and other debilitating conditions. Currently we are seeing the United States change there laws day by day. Currently, CNN has been helping change thoughts by showing the power of this medicine used with epileptic families. In November, Realm of Caring and CNN both came to the Oklahoma State Capital for a forum. Many Oklahoman's got to meet true patients and hear there stories. We are continuing to request that Oklahoma change its punishment for Cannabis to atleast allow some citizens to be overseen by there doctor and attempt this treatment.
Court reform is needed. Many times settling for a wrong outcome is better than fighting the expensive battle required to get Justice in the fancy buildings with well paid Judges and staff. And the system is too often used to transfer wealth from innocent consumers to lawyers. It is not justice to punish innocent consumers and co-workers because the actions of a few employees resulted in injury. People could self insure for such events and only the guilty parties be punished with criminal charges.
According to the Institute For Justice's Policing For Profit report, Oklahoma receives a grade of D for its Civil Asset Forfeiture laws. Under these laws, law enforcement officers are allowed to seize the property of law abiding citizens under the pretense that the property is profit from the drug trade or other illicit activity. No criminal charges need to be filed against the property owner for this confiscation of property to happen. It is then up to the property owner to prove that the property confiscated was not used in a crime.
This practice needs to end and we need to return to a law that values private property rights for individuals.
The Department of Corrections is not obeying The latest decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court regarding releasing all offenders sentenced prior to 1994 from the law passed in 1997. Many citizens of Oklahoma and their families are forced to be restricted every day because D.O.C. is very slack in obeying this decision!
Create special military service veterans courts for vets with PTSD, brain injury and other service related injuries that get into trouble. Actually help them and legislate that they can get VA benefits for their treatment!