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A Panel Discussion: Criminal Justice and Impacts on Women Voters

Shailaja Marion Blog Post, News

At this informational session, League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa will share its position on criminal justice reform in Oklahoma after the completion of a two-year study that was approved by league members this summer. After sharing the position, a panel will speak on the current state of criminal justice in our state and city, plus reflect on the League’s findings and what changes need to be made.

RSVP on Facebook here.

November 7, 2023

OU-Tulsa Learning Ctr.
4502 E 41st St
Tulsa, OK 74135

Room 145
5:30 – 7:00 PM


Rep. Amanda Swope
OK House District 71

Amanda Swope is a descendant of the Osage Nation and a citizen of the Muscogee Nation where she is employed as the Director of Tribal Juvenile Justice Director. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northeastern State University,

Amanda began her career in nonprofit management as a Development Director fundraising and grant writing for social services organizations. In 2018, after receiving her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma she started working at the Muscogee Nation as a Self-Governance Analyst negotiating federal compacts and identifying areas of sovereignty expansion. Amanda has worked locally in her community on political campaigns since 2011 and brings with her research experience and policy and data analysis.

She has served on multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion committees, and police advisory councils as well as volunteering with organizations like the Community Service Council, Junior League of Tulsa, Tulsa Young Professionals, Junior Achievement, Little Blue House, and the Terence Crutcher Foundation.

Her passion for civic engagement led her to serve as the youngest and first indigenous Chair of the Tulsa County Democratic Party and in November 2022, she was elected to the 59th Legislature of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

She serves on the Elections and Ethics Committee, Administrative Rules Committee, State Powers Committee, Rules Committee, and Public Safety Appropriations and Budget Committee.

Kathy LaFortune, Ph.D.
Tulsa County
Public Defenders

Dr. Kathy LaFortune is a licensed Oklahoma clinical psychologist and attorney and currently works at the Tulsa County Public Defender’s office. She previously worked for eight years at the Tulsa County Family Center for Juvenile Justice coordinating psychological services in delinquency and deprived cases and providing reports to the judges there.

She graduated from Duke University in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and the University of Tulsa with her JD and PhD. She teaches as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law and the Department of Clinical Psychology, has taught at OSU Health Sciences Center in the master’s program for forensic sciences, and also as an adjunct instructor in the New York Law School mental disability law program.

She is presently on the Courtwatch Committee for APA, serves as a Judicial Notebook author for the American Psychological Association Monitor, and was a member of the APA

Committee on Legal Issues for the term. She received the outstanding volunteer award from Volunteers of America, the Fern Holland Award from TU Women’s Law Caucus, the Distinguished Professional Services Citation from the Oklahoma Psychological Association, Tulsa Press Club Headliners Award, and Holland Hall Distinguished Alumni.

She was Chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association Criminal Law Section, a board member of Oklahoma Department of Corrections for four years and has been a member of the Oklahoma Juvenile Competency work group for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth. She is a board member of Parkside Hospital and Clinic and is board chair of Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

Kathy is one of Tulsa’s former first ladies and is married to former Tulsa Mayor and District Judge Bill LaFortune.

Sherry Beair
Inside Out Re-Entry Services

Sherry Beair is the Executive Director of Inside Out Re-Entry Services (IORS). IORS provides residential treatment for women recently released from incarceration and works with licensed professionals to provide wide-ranging services for re-entry into their lives ahead. The organization has reunited over 115 mothers with their children and has successfully graduated 60+ residents throughout their work in the community. Support services such as education, legal, medical, psychological, and state-related services provide women with the opportunity to fully-engage in their community as a proactive member.

Colleen McCarty
Oklahoma Appleseed

Colleen McCarty is an attorney and life-long advocate of a more just system. In 2017, McCarty went back to the University of Tulsa College of Law to attend law school (JD ‘20).

McCarty graduated with highest honors, being awarded the CALI Award for Legal Excellence in Professional Responsibility and Evidence Workshop. She competed on the Native American Law Student Appellate Team and traveled to Berkeley Law to represent the University in national competition. She served as an Articles Submission Editor on the Tulsa Law Review. Her law review note, “When Voters’ Intent Backfires,” was published in the Spring 2020 Issue of the Tulsa Law Review.

While in law school, McCarty co-published a piece in the Federal Sentencing Reporter titled,

“Oklahoma’s State Question 780: Reform & Resistance.” As a law student, McCarty assisted in the commutation of hundreds of felony drug sentences (both directly and indirectly) before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

Since becoming licensed to practice law in Oklahoma, she has served as Policy Counsel and Deputy Director of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform. In Spring of 2022, McCarty worked with Appleseed Foundation Executive Director Benet Magnuson to open Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, where she now serves as Executive Director. McCarty is married and is a mom to two kids and two energetic Australian shepherds.


Portrait of Tim Landes
Tim Landes

Tim Landes is an award-winning journalist and photographer, who works as features editor for TulsaPeople Magazine. He is a Cherokee Nation citizen and serves as Vice Chair of the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board. Tim also serves on the Tulsa Press Club board of directors and as a moderator for its PageOne Luncheons. He can often be seen moderating events for Magic City Books and Circle Cinema. Previously, he spent a decade in media relations for Cherokee Nation and its businesses, where he co-created Anadisgoi (or Cherokee Nation News).