We should all join Caleb Gayle in applauding his home state of Oklahoma for embracing smart, data-driven criminal justice reform to continue addressing its hulking prison population (“A lesson from Oklahoma on reform,” Ideas, Nov. 3).

Oklahoma’s example is another testament that criminal justice reform has broad support from both the left and right. States as politically and geographically diverse as Oregon, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and many others have been forging ahead in their efforts to better understand what’s driving increasing numbers of people into the prison system, the budget-busting associated costs, and ways to shift resources into proven strategies that reduce recidivism and better support public safety.


The Crime and Justice Institute, a division of Community Resources for Justice, works directly with leaders in states throughout the country, including Oklahoma, to develop and implement legislative and policy reforms. We’ve seen firsthand the commitment to achieving better criminal justice outcomes from people across the political spectrum, and we’ve seen the tremendous impact quality reforms have.

Yet, as monumental as these successes are, there’s much more to be done. The will, the evidence, and the expertise are all there. Let’s get to work.

Christine Cole

Executive director

Crime and Justice Institute