House of Representatives

Governor Signs Hill Criminal Justice Reform Bills

5/9/2022 3:49:00 PM

Contact: Rep. Brian Hill
Phone: (405) 557-7333

Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed two bills authored by Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, updating provisions of landmark criminal justice reform legislation passed last year.

House Bill 4352, authored by Hill and Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, exempts certain inmates from the requirement under the Sarah Stitt Act to complete resumes or practice job interviews prior to release from incarceration. Hill worked with Rep. Marilyn Stark, R-Bethany, to develop the Sarah Stitt Act, which became law in 2021.

HB4352 exempts inmates 65 years of age or older, inmates released to medical parole or from the mental health unit, inmates released to another jurisdiction, inmates returning to community supervision from an intermediate revocation facility, and inmates deemed by the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections (DOC) to be physically or mentally unable to return to the workforce.

House Bill 4353, which is also authored in the Senate by Weaver, directs the Oklahoma Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) to allow the use of a certified copy of a birth certificate coupled with a DOC-issued consolidated record card to serve as a valid form of photo identification to obtain a Real ID Noncompliant Identification Card.

"I'm very glad the governor saw fit to sign these bills into law," Hill said. "As a state, we want inmates leaving incarceration to be prepared to reenter society as smoothly as possible, including reentering the workforce. We shouldn't be placing undue burdens on those who have paid their dues in the criminal justice system. I hope these amendments to the Sarah Stitt Act will better serve those who may be physically or mentally unable to find employment after incarceration and those who currently struggle to secure state identification."

Both bills were signed on April 25 and go into effect Nov. 1.