In Less than a Year, Oklahoma Prison Changes Wane

Jan 5, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — It took less than a year for Oklahoma's package of prison reform laws to go from political darling to albatross.

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative was touted in 2012 as way for Oklahoma to reduce its prison population, help inmates with health or mental problems and save money by spending less within the Corrections Department.

But emails obtained by the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman and The Associated Press show that within months, Governor Mary Fallin's staff held meetings without key players, turned away federal money that could have funded programs and expressed concern the state might appear "liberal."

Now that two of the initiative's biggest advocates are no longer in their jobs, it's unclear where Oklahoma stands and what reforms, if any, are still on ta