Criminal Justice

Trent England | June 14, 2016

Prison Isn’t for Everyone

Trent England

Writing in the Enid News & Eagle, OCPA's Trent England explains why four measures passed this legislative session are important steps in reforming Oklahoma’s criminal justice system.

Thankfully, a bright spot in this recent legislative session was the success of four measures sponsored by Rep. Pam Peterson and signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin. Together, the new laws mean fewer people who commit nonviolent crimes will wind up in state prison. Fewer people will be branded as felons for minor property crimes or possessing illegal drugs. More drug users will have access to Oklahoma’s drug court program that helps people escape addiction.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, over 40 percent of Oklahoma inmates are in prison for drug and alcohol crimes. About 55 percent of prisoners either have or have had mental illness. Many people in Oklahoma’s prisons need to stay there, some for the rest of their lives, to keep our communities safe. Yet many prisoners have not committed violent crimes and pose more of a danger to themselves than to the rest of us.

Read the rest here.

Trent England David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England

David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow

Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.

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