The Cowboy and Sooner state took another significant step in improving its criminal justice system this session with the passage of House Bill 2490. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Brian Hill and Sen. Julie Daniels, creates a review process for people serving sentences on community supervision, incentivizing work, education, and good behavior.
After serving four or five years of their sentence on supervision, the offender can request to have their sentence reviewed by a judge. The judge can terminate the sentence if the defendant has not committed any new offenses and followed all the terms of their supervision – like addiction treatment. Only those who have completed education, or maintained steady employment are eligible for review after 4 years.
Further, the prosecutor can object and prevent the hearing. Nobody who committed a serious offense that requires more than 85% the sentence to be served is eligible – domestic violence and sex offences are also disqualifying.
Only offenders who are low enough risk to already be in the community, and put in the hard work to earn their second chance, can have their sentence modified. No opportunity is given away, but staying crime-free and working are incentivized. A good job is a key factor in reducing recidivism, lowering crime.
HB 2490 is a conservative bill that will return people to the workforce and boost public safety. Oklahomans should be thrilled this legislation passed this session, along with other conservative wins like universal school choice, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Stitt and the hard work of legislators.