Oklahoma House Passes Corrections Reform Bill

The Oklahoma House of Representatives Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill designed to relieve prison overcrowding. The bill, House Bill 2131, would substantially change the way Oklahoma sentences and paroles nonviolent offenders and it is estimated that it will save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in coming years if it is enacted into law.

Who would have thunk it? Corrections reform is moving in Oklahoma. (Image via Wikimedia)
The bill changes "default" sentencing from consecutive to concurrent terms, which would substantially reduce the length of prison stays. Under the bill, instead of automatically sentencing offenders to consecutive terms, judges or prosecutors must specify that the terms must run consecutively.

The bill also changes the parole process by eliminating the need for the governor to approve parole for nonviolent offenders. Currently, Oklahoma requires the governor to sign off on every parole. Under the bill, if the governor does not act on a nonviolent offender parole request within 30 days, parole will be granted.

The bill also would expand eligibility for community sentencing programs and GPS monitoring for certain low-risk offenders.

"These changes would result in the better use of taxpayer dollars, increase in public safety and more appropriate consequences for low-risk offenders," said House Speaker Kris Steele (R). Changing default sentencing unless a judge or district attorney objects means "the standards will be that the sentences will run concurrently and that will ultimately save money," Steele said.

The bill passed 87-4 with no debate and no questions. It now heads to the state Senate.

Oklahoma City, OK
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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overcrowding ijn Slovenian prisons

Slovenian prison system is significant overcrowded for some years. Conditions are bad. Government is pressing reforms in order to cach up "French/ German train". If Slovenia want to be part of development world nations it is NECESSARY in order to maintain HUMAN AND GENERAL people RIGHTS to deal with unbarable conditions in our prisons. In Ljubljana prison on Povšetova there is 3 times higher number of convicts than prison can take!
 

This has nothing to do with drug policy reform efforts.

The economy is forcing the hands of several conservative states right now. 

It is big step taken by

It is big step taken by Oklahoma house to pass the bill for the health protection of people of its residents. Once I was reading about the issues of youngsters in domywriting source which reveal many facts. People devoted their whole life for the betterment of country’s people and made a permanent place in their hearts.

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