Oklahoma County has followed national trends in explosive jail growth. Since 1983, the county jail population in Oklahoma County has grown from 495 people to 2,581, a more than fivefold increase. The incarceration rate, the number of people incarcerated in the jail per 100,000 in the population, has nearly tripled, from 119 to 432. Oklahoma County has the highest jail incarceration rate of the five large counties in the state, and the highest jail incarceration rate of any county of similar size in Oklahoma or the states that surround it.
Vera reviewed policies and practices, interviewed key stakeholders in Oklahoma City and at the county level, and worked with them to create a detailed map of the criminal justice system to understand people's pathways through it to the jail. This report presents the findings and recommendations from Vera's assessment, and offers guidance on how the county can safely reduce its jail population and create a more just and effective local justice system.