Gov. Fallin Talks About Her Time In D.C. At Criminal Justice Summit

Wednesday, July 19th 2017, 7:52 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Governor Mary Fallin is back from her time in Washington DC. She was there Tuesday as the keynote speaker for a criminal justice summit.

Fallin said she was only able to stick around for her portion of the day instead of being there for the full summit, but insists that Oklahoma is on the leading edge of reforms.

Fallin talked about the road ahead to fix Oklahoma's criminal justice system. She’s focusing on programs already underway that work together to stop the cycle of incarceration.

Right now, Oklahoma's prisons are at 109 percent capacity and the state leads the country in the number of women behind bars. It’s costing the state millions of extra dollars and placing thousands of children in state care. For Fallin, that role is just too high.

But reforms have been slow. Despite the overwhelming support for a pair of state questions and the governor's own task force, changes were held up. At the end of the last session, only three of the task force's 12 recommendations became law.

Criminal justice reform has long been a passion project for Fallin and despite the state's challenges, she thinks a brighter future is possible even after she's no longer in charge.

As for continuing her work, Fallin highlighted several emerging programs and hopes those other stalled solution of last session can be restarted next session.