Faced with the second highest incarceration rate in the nation, Oklahoma’s criminal justice system is at a crossroads. One challenge facing the Sooner State is overcriminalization, which puts unsuspecting Oklahomans in jeopardy—and possibly even handcuffs—while doing little to reduce crime or increase public safety.
Evidence of overcriminalization is the fact that Oklahoma’s criminal code is one of the largest in the nation. It contains 1,232 sections (compared to 114 in the national model), and keeps growing by an average of 26 new crimes added every year over the past six years. Well-intentioned citizens run the risk of breaking laws they didn’t know existed. Should people really be imprisoned for accidents? If not, what can be done to change course and reverse overcriminalization and the erosion of criminal-intent requirements?
On March 8, join the Charles Koch Institute, the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, and a panel of distinguished experts to address these questions and discuss recommendations for reducing overcriminalization as part of Oklahoma’s broader justice reform efforts.
John S. Baker Jr., visiting professor of law, Georgetown Law School
James R. Copland, senior fellow and director of legal policy, Manhattan Institute
Trent England, vice president for strategic initiatives, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
Vikrant P. Reddy, senior fellow, Charles Koch Institute
Andrew Speno, state director, Right on Crime Oklahoma