Forum Video: Effects of State Budget Decisions on Children

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Three leaders involved in children’s issues talk about the implications of state budget decisions on the lives of kids. Our “Oklahoma Watch-Out” forum featured state Sen. AJ Griffin, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman, and Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth Director Lisa Smith.

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    A really big deal, here, is the failure to address Oklahoma’s pre-occupation with incarceration.

    The money spent on jail/prison not only soaks up a monstrous amount of cash–it creates a wake of very significant social problems that are obvious in the numbers of DHS and education concerns.

    The ties are quite direct.

    A closely related problem is that the underfunding of the public defender means that more accused (but NOT convicted) are simply jailed awaiting disposition……and long, unconvicted jail time (inappropriately tax paid). At any one time 85% of the 2,300 persons in the Oklahoma County Jail are NOT convicted.

    This is but one more example of the HIGH COSTS OF TRYING TO DO EVERYTHING ON THE CHEAP.