New Oklahoma Criminal Justice Bill Set to Take Effect November 1

The A&M TeamCriminal Defense

Oklahoma agencies are reportedly working to implement a new criminal justice law, which is set to go into effect November 1, 2012. House Bill 3052, signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin earlier this year, is designed to reduce incarceration costs and increase public safety, by creating intermediate revocation facilities to house Oklahoma offenders who commit technical probation violations, like a failed drug test or a missed curfew. Those who commit new criminal offenses while on probation in Oklahoma however, will not be eligible for the program. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Oklahoma, your first course of action should be to enlist the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Here at Atkins & Markoff, our skilled criminal defense team is standing by, ready to help.

LAW ESTABLISHES INTERMEDIATE REVOCATION CENTERS

House Speaker Kris Steele (R-Shawnee) authored House Bill 3052, and is co-chairman of the group overseeing the law’s implementation. The Department of Corrections plans to use community correctional centers and existing state prisons to house the sanction beds, according to deputy director of treatment and rehabilitative services Eric Franklin, and some halfway-house beds may also be used to satisfy the terms of the bill. Under the new Oklahoma criminal justice law, technical violators will serve six months in an intermediate revocation facility while undergoing intensive treatment, rather than being sentenced to, on average, an additional 1.9 years in jail if probation is revoked. The bill also dictates that felony offenders leaving prison are subject to supervision for at least nine months after their release.

NEW BILL COULD CAUSE BACKUPS IN JAILS

Despite the fact that the new bill is set to take effect in less than a month, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the program. Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin, for example, has expressed concerns that inmates awaiting transport to the DOC for technical violations would limit the available bed space in his jail. He also voiced concerns about potential delays in mental-health evaluations used before sentencing, which could cause additional back-ups at county jails for offenders awaiting sentencing. The Tulsa jail is currently holding 1,708 inmates and has a capacity of 1,714, Albin said, and 140 of those inmates are waiting to be transported to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

CONTACT OUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS FOR HELP

New criminal justice laws like House Bill 3052 are significant, because they can have a considerable impact on the lives of offenders already in jail in Oklahoma, and those charged with OK crimes today and in the future. If you are facing charges for an Oklahoma criminal offense, contact our criminal defense lawyers at Atkins & Markoff as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys, led by Tommy Adler, have years of experience protecting the legal rights of those charged with crimes in Oklahoma, and can help you work to build a strong defense in your case. With our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Atkins & Markoff on your side, you can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome in your case, possibly getting your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.