The Criminal Justice Advisory Council is a task force comprised of business and community leaders, law enforcement, nonprofit service providers, attorneys, and judges who share an interest in making Oklahoma County’s justice system fair and effective. They produce reports on county-wide reform efforts each quarter. See the report attached below.
The CJAC completed its fifth fiscal year on June 30, 2023. CJAC’s fifth birthday is an accomplishment in and of itself, signaling the commitment of central Oklahoma leaders to a more fair and effective justice system. As with previous years, this report is a tale of steps forward while simultaneously identifying challenges still unmet. The year was marked by major progress on several fronts: Expansion of mental health resources; early steps on new jail building; legislative progress on fines and fees plus county diversion funding; expanded fair chance hiring education; continued detention center improvements; and, continued drop in the jail population. Nevertheless, just as various system improvements advanced, other concerns persist. A multicounty grand jury delivered its report listing multiple concerns while the state health department examined deficiencies. Five years into this effort Oklahoma County now knows that constant vigilance is required to keep building on the foundations of progress toward more advanced system change.
As system improvements advance, CJAC is committed to constant vigilance to keep building on the foundations of progress toward more advanced system change.
Jail Population is Down
As the chart shows, the chronic jail overcrowding that has plagued the OCDC for more than two decades has receded significantly in recent years. The trend continued in FY23 with a new low of 1,534.
Mental Health Treatment and Diversion Options Expanding in Oklahoma County
Court Ordered Outpatient Treatment Program provides mental health treatment services in the community through court-ordered judicial supervision for defendants who are in jail but would be better served in the community.
988 Mental Health Lifeline receives more than 6,800 calls in the first year.
OKC MAPS 4 Investments in behavior health continue to make progress:
Construction on the Restoration Center expected to begin early 2025.
ARPA, City of OKC and County funds earmarked for 330-bed facility for a new mental health hospital in Oklahoma County.
New Jail Construction Process Still on Track
The oversight board has been busy. After an extensive public bidding process, the architect team of the national firm, HOK, and local OKC firm, Rees Associates, were selected. The county completed its contract with HOK/Rees and began the program space planning process. The architect will also assist in land site selection.
More than 10 land parcels were submitted from public and government entities. The oversight board has already whittled that list down to five but is re-opening the process for the public or government entities to submit additional land parcels.
The process has also been assisted by the federal government as the National Institute of Corrections, an agency under the U.S. Department of Justice, came to Oklahoma City to conduct a training, Planning of New Institutions (PONI). The PONI training session included 19 participants including county officials, jail trustees, bond oversight advisory board members and the architect team.
Download the Complete Report Below