Bringing Much-Needed Reform to Oklahoma’s Broken Justice System

Despite a growing movement to reform the federal criminal justice system, the ACLU recognized the need for action in Oklahoma, which had the second highest incarceration rate in the country.


In 2016, states across the country were taking steps to reform the criminal justice system, focusing on addressing the root cause of crime. Oklahoma, however, still had the second highest incarceration rate in the country and the highest for women. Working closely with ACLU, Precision helped conceptualize, launch, and manage a multi-million dollar ballot initiative campaign, urging voters to approve State Questions 780 and 781 — to reduce Oklahoma’s prison population and invest taxpayer resources into rehabilitation and treatment programs.


Precision built a soup-to-nuts campaign developing branding and targeted messaging designed to resonate with critical voting blocs: voters already on our side who we needed to keep through election day, and “persuadables” who we needed to move firmly into our camp. Our messaging emphasized the economic, social, and public safety benefits of reform, driving a narrative that Oklahoma needed a smarter approach to public safety. Additionally, we developed all public-facing materials (including a website and social platforms), organized major press events, and oversaw the activation of important validators and influencers to win support among Oklahoma’s voters.


Voters approved State Questions 780 and 781 — with 60% voting yes — marking a major turning point in the state’s efforts to finally pursue smart reforms. Strategically deployed influencers  attracted the support of other prominent Oklahomans, building a coalition of support that was crucial for victory on Election Day. We developed a dozen op-eds published in key outlets across the state, secured hundreds of media placements, and helped generate supportive editorials from the state’s most influential media outlets.

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If you’re wondering how you can make your message break through, reach the right audience, or move people to action, Arrow — Precision’s sophisticated suite of data analytics and optimization tools — can help.

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