criminal justice

Inside A Judge's Rehab: Unpaid Work At An Oklahoma Coca-Cola Plant

Dec 4, 2017
Shane Bevel / Reveal

Retired Oklahoma Judge Thomas Landrith is hailed as a hero of criminal justice reform.

He started the first rural drug court in the nation and has reaped awards for sending defendants to treatment rather than prison. Most judges in the state model their drug courts after his.

But Landrith also is involved in a more sinister byproduct of criminal justice reform.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and, sitting in for Ryan Kiesel, Stillwater Democratic Representative Cory Williams about the House failing to pass a Republican plan to fix the shortfall in the budget, House Minority Leader Scott Inman announcing his resignation from the state legislature as well as dropping out of the governor's race and the State Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional a law which would have added fees on to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to a receptive audience Thursday when he addressed members of the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association at Rose State College in Midwest City.

Sessions said law enforcement nationwide is dealing with an increase in the violent crime rate, gangs, the opioid epidemic and threats of terrorism. Sessions says these issues are combined with cultural changes that concern him.

Chicken Workers Sue, Saying They Were Modern-Day Slaves

Oct 12, 2017
Shane Bevel / Reveal

Three Oklahoma men filed a federal class-action lawsuit today alleging that they were modern-day slaves forced by a drug rehabilitation program to work for free in chicken processing plants.

How An Oklahoma Drug Court Rehab Kept Its Participants' Workers' Comp

Oct 9, 2017
Shane Bevel / Reveal

After Fred Barbee broke his ankle while working at a chicken processing plant in Arkansas, he expected time off to heal.

But he wasn’t in a normal workplace. A drug court judge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had sent Barbee to a drug rehabilitation program called Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery, or CAAIR. The program makes men work without pay at plants owned by Simmons Foods Inc.

They Thought They Were Going To Rehab. They Ended Up In Chicken Plants

Oct 4, 2017
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

The worst day of Brad McGahey's life was the day a judge decided to spare him from prison.

McGahey was 23 with dreams of making it big in rodeo, maybe starring in his own reality TV show. With a 1.5 GPA, he'd barely graduated from high school. He had two kids and mounting child support debt. Then he got busted for buying a stolen horse trailer, fell behind on court fines and blew off his probation officer.

Reveal

Oklahoma incarcerates women, many of them mothers, at a rate more than twice the national average.

As the state grapples with an emerging political consensus around criminal justice reform, The Atlantic  and Reveal joined together yesterday in Oklahoma City to discuss female incarceration and criminal justice reform in Oklahoma.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republlican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about how lawmakers did in the 2017 legislative session as they adjourned just before time ended last Friday, Governor Fallin gave her stamp of approval on the $6.8M budget for the next fiscal year, but the session ended without the passage of some of her issues on criminal justice reform which she promised during her State of the State.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants prosecutors to get tough on people convicted of drug crimes. He's ordering federal prosecutors to, quote, "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense."

Michael Cross / KOSU

Criminal justice reform supporters rally at the Capitol in a final push for bills to reduce prison populations.

The group Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform says about ten bills from the Governor's Justice Reform Initiative are still alive in conference committee and could pass before the end of session on May 26th.

Former House Speaker Kris Steele says fixing the broken justice system is absolutely a budget issue.

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