OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Monday morning at the Capitol, Representative J.J. Humphrey shared his proposal about transforming the entire Oklahoma correctional system with judges, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, lawmakers and more in attendance.
Humphrey said the Oklahoma criminal justice system is broken and says his plan starts with linking every judicial system together.
“Right now, we’re flying blind. We don’t have a system that even works… We need to have a system that works with our tribal friends,” said Representative J.J. Humphrey, R-Lane.
Humphrey presented a plan that would modify drug courts, hold correctional facilities accountable, reduce crime and more.
He said one way he believes he could accomplish this is by changing the way funds are used.
“52% of our entire budget goes to education. We don’t need to be charging offenders to do educational… Let that be funded through different mechanisms. Let the court fund. We have to make sure that we set up a system that does not set these people up to fail,” said Humphrey.
One of Humphrey’s plans he talked about was creating an enhanced GPS supervision system for those with misdemeanors that are contracted by an outside party.
“We need to have a discussion who should be out in the community. And what I don’t want the community having to worry about that. We’re going to be releasing all these people, guys. These people are going to be out sooner or later anyways. If you won’t get a job, if you won’t follow the rules, then we’ll send you back to the penitentiary pretty easy,” said Humphrey.
Humphrey said that is one way to make the job for parole officers easier, since they already have a heavy load. He also points out that it would lower inmate population, plus it would save money.
His breakdown of costs show the GPS system would cost $6 per day for one inmate. Right now, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections charges approximately $63 per day, an inmate for supervision.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeremie Wilson was at the presentation on Monday and told KFOR he agreed with Humphrey’s proposal.
“I think there’s a real need for a change. What we have is kind of antiquated now. It doesn’t seem to serve the purpose for our citizens as well as our counties. The reform and the ideas that J.J. has Representative Humphreys would really help us, especially in the rural communities,” said Sheriff Jeremie Wilson, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Wilson said he would also like to see more money coming from tickets written in his county and other rural communities.
“County sheriffs get $5 no matter what a citation is written for. If it’s a $350 infraction, we get $5. If it’s a $1,000 infraction, we get $5. We are the boots on the ground. We are the people that are there face to face. And we ought to be getting some of that funding. As to being dispersed throughout all different places in the state,” said Wilson.
Humphrey said this is just a place to start and is open to changing parts of the proposal. He would like to continue getting feedback from those who work in the criminal justice community and share his plans with more DAs, judges, lawmakers and law enforcement across the state.