Tuesday, April 19, 2016
6:30 to 8 p.m.
First Christian Church of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, former Speaker of the Oklahoma House Kris Steele and Rev. Jesse Jackson will engage in a panel discussion of Mass Incarceration in Oklahoma: When Will It End? on Tuesday, April 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at First Christian Church of Oklahoma City, 3701 N. Walker Ave.
Oklahoma has the second highest incarceration rate (behind only Louisiana) in the United States and it continues to grow annually, while prison populations nationwide have fallen each year since 2009. Oklahoma has had the highest incarceration rate for women since 2011 and incarcerates women at more than twice the national rate. Oklahoma also has the highest rate of prisoners housed in private prisons. Approximately 28,000 adults are presently incarcerated in Oklahoma. Another 31,000 adults are under community supervision (probation and parole). Oklahoma’s prison population in 1983 was 7,000.
Prater has been District Attorney of Oklahoma County since 2007. He served as an Assistant District Attorney in Oklahoma County from 1993 through 2001 and as an officer in the Norman Police Department from 1980 through 1988.
Steele is Executive Director of TEEM (The Education and Employment Ministry), a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and incarceration in Oklahoma. Mr. Steele served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2001-2012 and as Speaker of the House in 2011-2012. He is the leader of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, a coalition of community groups that seeks to get two initiative petitions on the November ballot; the petitions seek reduction of sentences for drug possession and property crimes and community treatment for drug addiction and mental health.
Rev. Jackson is the pastor of East Sixth Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 1139 N.E. 6th. He is the President of the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a national organization of African-American Disciples of Christ. Rev. Jackson last summer organized an initiative called Occupy the Corners–OKC to curb gun violence in northeast Oklahoma City.
The program will be moderated by Rev. Don Heath, pastor of Edmond Trinity Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, VOICE OKC, Restoration Church at the Dome, and Edmond Trinity Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service/Campaign Nonviolence. It is free and open to the public.Get Directions via Google Maps