Bill would require racial impact statements for future criminal justice legislation

To address racial disparities in Oklahoma’s justice system, future criminal justice legislation may have to go through an additional step before being approved.

State Sen. George Young, D-Oklahoma City, filed Senate Bill 1184, which requires a racial impact statement to accompany any bill that would lengthen sentences, create a new offense or change penalties for existing offenses.

Young said lawmakers must play a vital role in criminal justice reforms by looking critically at how bills might disproportionately impact communities of color, which are incarcerated at higher rates than their white counterparts.

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