A public safety act is working its way through the statehouse.
The Justice Reinvestment Initiative includes several crime fighting initiatives that have brought in researchers and took authors of the proposal nine months to write.
Researchers believe it will cut crime by 10% over the next five years.
One of the keys to reducing crime in our communities is keeping the criminals from committing more crimes when they’re released from prison.
One of the initiatives would cost $2 million dollars to require supervision for all felons released from prison.
It would require hiring additional and training probation and parole officers.
The day HB3052 passed the House Appropriations Budget Committee, Tulsa police arrested one of its most wanted.
Dejaun Price, 28, was wanted for shooting with intent to kill involving a December 2011 shooting, a toddler was in the home at the time.
Prison records show Price was released from prison in February 2011. When he was released from prison he didn’t have supervision and it took him less than year to get arrested again.
Other felons who have gone to prison for drugs, guns and even kidnapping, didn’t have supervision after serving their entire sentence, including credit for good behavior, were re-arrested.
Antonio Younger, 38, was released from prison in June 2011 for kidnapping and assault & battery with a deadly weapon. Records show Tulsa Police arrested Younger in August 2011 for trafficking cocaine.
While his charges are pending he bonded out of jail on more than $100,000.
He and Price did not have supervision when released from prison.
"People go to jail in order to learn a lesson. They should learn from that lesson and that is why they are there because of the problems they have caused,” said concerned father Will Gobble.
However, a majority of felons released from prison without supervision are not learning their lesson and getting arrested again.
Paul D. Battle, 30, was released from prison in January 2011. He was arrested in December 2011 for drugs and guns and arrested again in January 2012 for a gun charge.
Darrell Williams, 36, is facing federal charges. Prison records show he was released from prison for drugs and guns in September 2011 and arrested in December 2011 for trafficking drugs and possession of a firearm.
Tulsa County Supervisor for Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Rick Parish, says the 51% released from custody are not supervised and they are hard to keep an eye.
"We don't know where they go,” said Parish. “Chances are they are going to come back.
Each year about 8,000 inmates are discharged from prison. DOC says a majority re-offend.
Fifty percent of all inmates are re-arrested within a year of being released from prison.
*The percentage of those not on supervision but re-offended was not available by deadline.
For felons like Gary Johnson, 37, who was arrested on February 14th for trafficking cocaine. He wasn’t on supervision and was arrested six months after release. Prison records show he was also incarcerated in the 1990’s for robbery.
These types of felons contribute to prison overcrowding and the revolving door.
A Tulsan who has come face-to-face with a violent felon believes those incarcerated need the tools to readjust into the community.
"It's true and not factious it's a way of life,” said Debra Latimer.
DOC says those one supervision are less likely to re-offend. Of the more than 7,000 offenders on supervision in Tulsa County, 25% re-offend.
Inmates from Tulsa County make up for a ¼ of the inmate population in Oklahoma prisons.
"Changing the way of thinking is a big deal. Trying to get them to understand working everyday, staying home with the family. These are things that will make you successful,” said Parish.
Tulsans who support the proposal also believe in second-chances.
"I think anyone can change. I think they just need to stick with it,” said Gobble.
The proposal would require at least nine months supervision for all felons.
A spokesperson for Speaker Kris Steele, author of HB 3052, says a similar proposal exists in 15 other states and crime went down 30% in Texas.
Oklahoma also has the highest incarceration among women.
There are several initiatives, such a changing laws regarding good behavior for credit for time served, money for mental health treatment and a $40 million grant over ten years for local law enforcement to fight crime.
HB3052 now goes to the House floor for a full vote.
Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris says it offers a net to benefit the state but also mentioned that since 2009 his budget has been cut by more than $1 million.
The American Civil Liberties Union released a statement suggesting that it applauds the state for acting on crime-fighting reforms but would rather see the state focus on keeping non-violent offenders out of prison.
"We would like to see reforms that keep our communities safe and reflect a smart use of our resources. We suggest focusing on reforms that keep individuals who pose no threat to society out of prison and jail to begin with by reducing reliance on pre-trial detention, reducing penalties for drug offenses, and rethinking our 85% laws that require an offender to serve 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. Other reforms might include non-incarceration based sanctions for minor parole violations, and the creation of a parole program for elderly inmates who pose no threat to society."