OKLAHOMA CITY – Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh applauded Gov. Mary Fallin’s State of the State Address on Monday, which included comments urging lawmakers to pass smart-on-crime justice reform, and a pledge to sign bills proposed by the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force.
Fallin also called for renewed focus on care for the mentally ill and addicted accused of crimes – instead of cramming them into a prison system without regard for their treatment.
“The governor’s statements today on criminal justice reform should have a galvanizing effect on our state’s elected officials,” Allbaugh said. “At DOC, we deal with reality, not fantasy. And the reality is the state is failing by continuing to put people in prison with no regard for how they got there in the first place, and little support for reentry programs.
“This morning, our state prisons were at 113 percent of capacity. The Governor’s dedication to sentencing reform is crucial to ease inmate population growth, reduce spending and prevent individuals from becoming felons in the first place. That helps them lead more productive lives, which makes for better neighbors for us all.
“Additionally, fewer inmates means more resources for programs to help offenders return to society. We pledge to continue working with legislative leaders and the governor as they make decisions in the best interests of our state and its future.”
Adam Luck, member of ODOC’s Board of Corrections, concurred.
“We appreciate the governor’s continued support of criminal justice reform in Oklahoma,” Luck said. “The next step is passing legislation recommended by the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force last year. The more we delay, the more we strain our overburdened system.”
Matt Elliott, Communications Director