Public Safety in Oklahoma

In June 2016, Oklahoma leaders from all three branches of government charged the Oklahoma Justice Reinvestment Task Force with conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the state’s criminal justice system and developing a set of data-driven recommendations to protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, control costs, and reduce the population under correctional control.

Over the next six months, the task force will consult with criminal justice stakeholders and experts, investigate the drivers of Oklahoma’s prison population growth, and review the extent to which the state’s corrections practices align with the best research on reducing recidivism. The process will conclude with the submission of a wide-ranging package of policy options to the state Legislature for consideration during the 2017 session.

Oklahoma’s prison population has increased 11 percent to almost 28,000 offenders in the past five years, costing the state $578 million annually on corrections, up 18 percent since 2004, adjusting for inflation. Without reform, the state will be required to reopen closed facilities, build new facilities, or contract out for additional beds at a high cost to the state. These large and growing costs come at a time when Oklahoma is facing a $1.3 billion budget gap.

The task force will receive technical assistance from the Crime and Justice Institute and The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and Pew. Since 2007, states across the country—including Georgia, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah—have successfully deployed justice reinvestment strategies to control corrections spending and protect public safety through policies that prioritize prison space for serious and violent offenders and direct the savings toward programs proved to reduce recidivism. 

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.