OKC Municipal Court Programs Provide Real Alternatives To Incarceration


Since July 2019, the Penalty Reduction Program has cleared cases in warrant status, Class A offenses, and failure to appear cases, totaling $956,000 of court debt.

Oklahoma City has taken a holistic approach to removing barriers to progress for people in Oklahoma City that have been criminalized due to their poverty and homelessness. Through a collection of Municipal Court programs, court fees and ticket costs have been dramatically reduced, some warrants entirely dismissed, and court hearings held in sites more welcoming and helpful than a courthouse. This article hails three impactful programs for OKC residents; Penalty Reduction, Rule 8 hearings, and Community Court. The Penalty Reduction Program decreased Class A warrant costs from about $500 to $155, and a Rule 8 hearing can suspend all fines and costs or refer a person to a community work program if they do not have the ability to pay.

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Brett Fieldcamp
Free Press Oklahoma City