The mission of OKJ2 is to bring light to social justice issues in Oklahoma through investigative journalism and education.
OKJ2 will focus its initial efforts on the Oklahoma prison system to provide greater context about what contributes to the problem of penal injustice. We will investigate individual cases in which inmates might have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit or improperly sentenced for offenses of which they are guilty. We also will examine trends in Oklahoma’s courts and prisons as well as state laws governing the prosecution of criminals and how we compare with other states’ statutes.
OKJ2 will publish its investigative findings on the Internet at www.okj2.org and share its work with other media outlets, both public and private. We understand that we do not have the power to overturn any person’s conviction and sentence – that resides alone in the courts – but we can bring cases into the public spotlight in hopes of seeing the legal community take action against any injustices that we identify.We will refrain from political partisanship and not take sides on issues.
We are NOT an advocacy group. We advocate only for the truth. If, in our investigations of possible injustice, we uncover new evidence that a prisoner is indeed guilty of a crime as convicted, we will publish those findings rather than walk away from them. We are neither taking sides with the prosecutors nor the defense attorneys. As journalists, we work independent of both sides in a criminal case.
The mission derives from the broader goal of making life better for all citizens of Oklahoma. At the time of this incorporation, the Sooner State leads the nation in the per capita rate of incarcerating women and is in the top five among the 50 states in the per capita rate of incarcerating men. Oklahoma ranks third in the United States in the most number of inmates put to death for crimes and is No. 1 in the per capita rate for capital punishment. Of even greater impact on the state as a whole is this statistic: an estimated 7 percent of all children in Oklahoma have at least one parent incarcerated.
This corporation is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, and no proceeds of the corporation will enrich any individual, except that reasonable compensation may be paid in exchange for services to the corporation. We will utilize students enrolled in colleges and universities (primarily those based in Oklahoma) to investigate suspicious cases for the purpose of educating these students in investigative journalism practices and preparing them to pursue careers in professional journalism or other fields. These students may be enrolled in internships and seeking academic credit at their respective schools.