CATOOSA — State Rep. Terry O’Donnell has been appointed to Gov. Mary Fallin’s newly created Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force, a group tasked with submitting reform recomm endations to be considered during the 2017 legislative session.
Rep. O’Donnell, an attorney from Tulsa who currently serves as the Vice Chair of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, is the only member of the House of Representatives to serve on the panel, which will be chaired by the governor.
“I am honored and humbled to be asked by Governor Fallin to serve on this task force,” said O’Donnell, R-Tulsa. “Criminal justice reform is one of the most pressing issues we currently face in the Legislature. Our prisons are operating at 122 percent capacity, and our current model locks people away for non-violent crimes – most of whom would better serve our state by paying restitution, working, providing for their families and contributing to society. In addition , we are spending millions each year on a broken system that could instead be spent on education, roads and economic development. I am looking forward to working with this group and developing sound, conservative ideas that will reform our criminal justice system and save our taxpayers moeny while making our citizens safer.”
According to the govenor’s news release announcing the initiative, the task force will focus on efforts to “promote public safety and hold offenders accountable, control corrections spending and taxpayer costs and develop cost effective strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism.”