Professor Vicki Limas, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and chair of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), led public hearings on August 28 and September 11, 2015, to receive testimony from school administrators, teachers, law enforcement officials, community service providers, academic researchers, and the public on the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Oklahoma; i.e., how school disciplinary practices and policies that demonstrate a disparate impact on youth of color contribute to the disproportionately high involvement of such youth in the juvenile, and eventually the adult, criminal justice systems in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Advisory Committee will issue a report and recommendations to the USCCR later this year.
The USCCR is an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency whose mission is to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. It maintains 51 State Advisory Committees (SACs), one for each state and the District of Columbia. Each is composed of citizen volunteers familiar with local and state civil rights issues. The SACs assist the Commission with its fact-finding, investigative, and information dissemination functions.