President Pro Tempore
Senator Mike Schulz, R-Altus
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 21, 2017
Sen. Mike Schulz
Oklahoma Senate advances
criminal justice reforms
upon the success of previous legislation, the Oklahoma Senate on
Tuesday approved a series of criminal justice reform bills.
The measures continue an effort by the Oklahoma Senate to examine
and modify, as necessary, the state’s criminal justice system
in order to address the state’s prison population and provide
treatment for those in the justice system who need mental health
or substance abuse services.
“The path Oklahoma is on now is unsustainable. We cannot continue
to lock up those with mental health or substance abuse problems.
We need to provide them the help they need to get back to being
productive members of society. These measures continue the successful
criminal justice reforms advanced in recent years by the Oklahoma
Senate. I appreciate the work of Senator Greg Treat and Senator
Wayne Shaw for taking the lead in helping us address these critical
issues,” said Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, R-Altus.
Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, who served on a task force created
by Gov. Mary Fallin to study criminal justice reform, authored several
of the reform measures that passed the Senate.
“These reforms continue our important work to address the
state’s prison population in a comprehensive way. These reforms
offer a balanced approach to criminal justice. They make sure we
keep the public safe, but these reforms also offer men and women
with mental health or addiction problems a way to rehabilitate.
We’re keeping families together and keeping more Oklahomans
as productive members of society. Additionally, these reforms in
the long-term will reduce the state’s prison population and
help the state save millions of dollars that can be redirected to
other core areas of government like education, roads and bridges,
and health care,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City.
Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove, authored two of the bills that passed
the Senate Tuesday.
“These measures represent the serious commitment of the Oklahoma
Senate to criminal justice reform. This legislation is another important
step in the process, but our journey is long from being complete.
I appreciate my Senate colleagues for their support of these important
measures,” Shaw said.
The bills that passed the Senate were:
• Senate Bill 603 (Treat) requires the Department of Corrections
to administer a risk and needs assessment for each prisoner. The
agency must develop a plan of action based on said assessment.
• SB 604 (Treat) requires the Council on Law Enforcement Education
and Training to include personal safety planning necessary at the
pretrial stages of a potential criminal case.
• SB 609 (Treat) requires the Office of the Attorney General
to adopt standards for certification of victim assistance professionals
based on guidelines from the National Advocate Credentialing Program
• SB 649 (Treat) exempts elderly citizens from escalating
punishment for committing a felony (with certain exceptions).
• SB 689 (Treat) allows a nonviolent offender sentenced to
life in prison to have his or her sentence modified after 10 years
of imprisonment. The measure allows the courts to waive fees for
• SB 793 (Treat) creates the Corrections and Criminal Justice
Oversight Task Force to track implementation of criminal justice
• SB 650 (Shaw) reduces the time by half in which a convicted
offender can expunge their records provided no other crime is committed.
• SB 786 (Shaw) reduces charges associated with burglary if
no person is present in the home.
Other measures dealing with the criminal justice system that passed
the Senate were:
• SB 38 (Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah) increases the Forensic
Science Improvement Assessment fee from $5 to $10 to support the
upkeep of state forensic lab equipment.
• SB 247 (Sen. Kevin Matthews, D-Tulsa, and Thompson) requires
the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate all law-enforcement
related shootings in jurisdictions of 150,000 or less, and allows
the OSBI to review law-enforcement related shootings in jurisdictions
of 150,000 or more.
• SB 271 (Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie) requires a sex offender
who is given a suspended sentence to report to local law enforcement
and the Department of Corrections parole office in their district.
• SB 252 (Griffin) allows victims impact panel programs to
have multiple presenters.
• SB 303 (Sen. Jason Smalley, R-Stroud) authorizes the Oklahoma
State Bureau of Investigation to submit fingerprints to the FBI
Rap Back System.
• SB 377 (Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate) provides framework
for a nonviolent offender to be sentenced to electronically confined
conditions. Felons and those convicted for viewing child pornography
are not eligible.
• SB 657 (Brecheen) creates the Protection Against Sexual
Exploitation by a Mental Health Services Provider Act.
more information contact:
Sen. Treat: 405-521-5632
Sen. Shaw: 405-521-5574