Griffin Receives Praise for Reforms to Address Poverty, Incarceration, Mental Health

Senator A.J. Griffin received praise for her work on legislation which could lead to a reduction in poverty and incarceration while improving mental health outcomes. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) thanked Griffin for Senate Bill 748.

The proposal would implement a “pay for success” program. The private sector could raise capital to design and fund new programs and non-profits would test those programs. The Department of Human Services would then evaluate the programs, and if successful, would agree to begin funding them.

“Everyone wants to support programs that successfully reduce incarceration rates, reduce poverty and deliver better mental health outcomes,” said OICA CEO Joe Dorman. “No one, however, wants to spend taxpayer dollars on a program that might not work. As a former legislator, I understand what a difficult balancing act that is and how those concerns can get in the way of embracing innovative new ideas.”

Dorman believes SB 748 would help spur reforms that work for DHS programs while saving taxpayer money.

“Senator Griffin is helping to solve this problem with legislation that allows the private sector to innovate and assume risk, something which it does well. Non-profits can then add their expertise in implementing new programs, and then the state government can invest if it likes the results. It’s a win-win solution that will benefit a lot of Oklahomans.”

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