405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force Considers "85 Percent Crime" Modification

02-Dec-2016

A governor's task force to develop recommendations for reducing Oklahoma's prison population and alleviate prison overcrowding is considering modifications to the state's "85 Percent Rule." 

The 85 Percent Rule refers to the requirement that people convicted of certain crimes must serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Most of the crimes listed as 85 percent crimes are violent felonies; however, aggravated drug trafficking is on the list as well. Governor Mary Fallin's general counsel, Jennifer Chance, confirmed that the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force, which is scheduled to make its recommendations to the governor and the state legislature on December 15, is considering modifying the the 85 percent rule. However, she says that the modification would only apply to drug crimes, and it would not affect the 85 percent requirement for violent crime convictions.

Many prosecutors were concerned that the task force was considering lowering the mandatory minimum for violent crimes as well. Their concern came from a policy option presented to the task force that would remove certain violent crimes from the 85 percent requirement, and instead require people convicted of those crimes to serve 70 percent of the sentence, rather than 85.

However, task force members, including Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, say that the task force will not recommend lowering sentencing or removing violent crimes from the 85 percent list. Prater told local reporters that the 85 Percent Rule is not negotiable, saying, "

"The most violent and dangerous offenders, that's why we have our prison beds."

Prater and Oklahoma District Attorneys Association president Mike Fields say that the task force is still at work in developing recommendations, and it is too soon to speculate what the group will recommend.

Fields, who is the District Attorney for Blaine, Canadian, Garfield, Grant and Kingfisher counties, says that public safety is his priority in creating a plan to reduce prison overcrowding: "I'll oppose any proposals that are contrary to Oklahoma's public safety interests."

The majority of Oklahoma inmates are not imprisoned for violent crimes. Chance says that 67 percent of the male inmate population and 70 percent of the female inmate population are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes. She says the task force is working on recommendations for lowering the nonviolent inmate population while keeping violent offenders behind bars.

After the task force presents its report to the legislature on December 15, their recommendations could become the basis for legislative action in 2017.



All News

More News

14 Oklahoma Drug Offenders Have Sentences Commuted
17-Apr-2017

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has commuted the sentences of 14 inm..

OKC Man Pleads Guilty to Rape of Child and Murder of Newborn Son
14-Apr-2017

An Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to life plus 20 years in p..

Legislators Pull Felony Drug Possession Bill
10-Apr-2017

When Oklahoma voters filled their ballots in November, they approv..

Former OU Football Player, Cheerleader Arrested for Prostitution
07-Apr-2017

A former University of Oklahoma football player was arrested for a..

Jailer Arrested for Alleged Sexual Contact with Inmates
03-Apr-2017

A Custer County jail employee has been arrested after being accuse..

House Vote Could Allow Internet Providers to Sell Browsing Habits
31-Mar-2017

In a blow to online privacy, the U.S. House of Representatives vot..

Almost Half of Sheriff's Dept. Inventory Unaccounted For
27-Mar-2017

After longtime Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel stepped down, ..

Senate Passes 8 Criminal Justice Reform Bills
24-Mar-2017

In November, Oklahoma voters showed that criminal justice reform w..

Tulsa Man Sentenced in Accidental Stabbing of Toddler
20-Mar-2017

An Oklahoma man accused of throwing a knife at his girlfriend and ..

Oklahoma Bill Would Prevent DUI Offenders from Buying Alcohol
13-Mar-2017

There is no question that DUI is a dangerous problem. Each year in..

×