Listen to this article here

Voters widely favor common-sense criminal justice reform. 

Reading Time 1 min 34 sec 

OKLAHOMA CITYRecent polling conducted by SoonerPoll indicates broad, bipartisan support for State Question 805 across the state of Oklahoma. In the poll of more than 5,466 likely voters, the majority of respondents said they support the policy in State Question 805.

SQ 805 is a common-sense criminal justice reform that will limit extreme sentences for nonviolent crimes, save Oklahoma taxpayers nearly $200 million and safely reduce Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons by 8.5% over the next decade.

“Oklahoma taxpayers spend over half a billion dollars on prisons each year. If we ended these decades-long sentences for nonviolent crimes, we could save the state millions of dollars and safely reduce our prison population,” said Sarah Edwards, president of State Question 805. “Research shows that extreme sentences do not make us safer. The best way to keep our communities safe and hold people accountable is to make sure resources are shifted to rehabilitation, substance abuse and job training programs. Those opposed to the reform would lead voters to believe that Oklahomans would not be safe and that crime would increase if SQ 805 passes. This is simply not true. There are protections in place to keep us safe and SQ 805 would not change these safeguards.” 

Support for the initiative crosses party lines, with 37% of Republicans, 54.5% of Democrats and 52.4% of Independents in support of SQ 805.

“I urge Oklahomans to vote ‘yes’ for State Question 805 because we can no longer afford to invest in an ineffective and costly system,” said Edwards. “Oklahomans, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the importance of supporting common-sense criminal justice reform that will help end our state’s incarceration crisis.” 

State Question 805 is supported by a bipartisan and diverse coalition of community leaders, business leaders, advocates, faith leaders, law enforcement and everyday Oklahomans, including the 260,000 Oklahomans who signed the petition to get SQ 805 on the ballot.

For more information about the state question, visit

About Yes on 805 and Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform

Oklahomans for Sentencing Reform is a diverse and bipartisan initiative committed to implementing common-sense sentencing reform in Oklahoma. The group, which includes community leaders, advocates and people who are directly impacted, intends to stop the use of harsh and ineffective repeat sentence penalties by advocating to pass State Question 805 on the 2020 ballot. For more information, please visit

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...