LEGISLATION

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

It passed the Legislature and was signed into law May 1 (effective date November 1, 2017). This bill added important language to 59 O.S. 2011, Section 1332, which relates to exoneration of bonds by operation of law. We added two new provisions. A bond is now exonerated if the warrant issued by the court has not been entered into an active warrant database available to law enforcement within five (5) business days after its issued date; or if the defendant has been arrested on new charges in the same jurisdiction in which the bondsman or insurer has posted the appearance bond or bonds
for the defendant, and the defendant has been subsequently released on his or her own personal recognizance.
2017 criminal justice bills
SB 603: Requires all offenders to receive a validated risk and needs assessment that will educate providers on programs available to offenders; also mandates that the Department of Corrections create an individualized case plan for each inmates.

SB 604: Provides training for law enforcement related to domestic violence victim safety during the pretrial stage.

HB 2284: Provides training for public defenders, district attorneys and judges that will cover substance abuse, behavioral health, and impact and dynamics of domestic violence.

HB 2281: Would decrease the number of people incarcerated for low-value property crimes by making the theft of items valued at less than $1,000 a
misdemeanor rather than a felony; is similar to State Question 780 but would include more crimes.

HB 2286: Would require development of an administrative parole process and establish training and eligibility requirements for Pardon and Parole Board members; also would make nonviolent offenders eligible for parole after serving one-fourth of their sentence but prohibit sentences going below the one-fourth threshold through earned credits.

SB 325: Comprehensive bill relating to bailable offenses, establishing certain hearings for court to determine type of bond and conditions of release;
prohibiting monetary bond from exceeding maximum penalty; requiring bail schedules to comply with certain provisions.

SB 363: Authorizes special judges to determine eligibility for pretrial release. OBA worked to keep this bill from a hearing in the House.

SB 649: Would reduce the amount of extra prison time that nonviolent criminals can receive for being repeat offenders.

SB 689: Would allow judges and prosecutors more options in diverting people from prison to treatment and supervision programs. Would reduce fines and fees for some offenders.

SB 786: Would reduce the minimum sentence for second-degree burglary and create a third degree covering burglary of an automobile.

SB 793: Would create the Corrections and Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force to track implementation and assess outcomes from recommendations made by Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force. The 17-member task force is to prepare and submit an annual report no later than the first day of the second full week of each regular session of the Legislature.

HB 2290: Would expand the parameters of drug-court program objectives.

INTERIM STUDIES

The following interim studies focusing on criminal justice reform have been approved by House Speaker McCall. We are hopeful that these studies will provide clarity to Oklahoma lawmakers as they evaluate reform efforts and make decisions that will directly impact the safety of our communities.

CURRENT STATUTES AND REGULATION

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