October 21, 2014

State Takes Steps to Release More Inmates

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The pressure to exit more inmates from Oklahoma’s prison system has mounted over the past year.

After taking over the Department of Corrections in February, director Robert Patton began transferring to prisons several thousand inmates being held at county jails. In August, nearly two-thirds of state prisons were officially over capacity, with additional inmates being kept in temporary beds.

The agency also launched efforts to release more inmates from incarceration using an early-release credits program.

Earlier this year, the state revised policies to make more inmates eligible for halfway houses. It reduced from 90 to 60 days the time that inmates must be housed in a minimum-security prison before they can enter lower-level community corrections facilities. New policies also allow inmates removed from halfway houses to become eligible again after six months, instead of a year, for a first removal, and after three years, instead of not at all, for a second removal.