The state Pardon and Parole Board on Wednesday approved the first group of inmates for a new, streamlined parole. The process, called administrative parole, could be a first measure of how much a board composed mostly of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s appointees will embrace changes intended to relieve Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons.
Oklahomans will soon be able to use medical marijuana, but it doesn’t extend to those serving time. The drug remains prohibited for inmates in Oklahoma and other states that have partially or fully legalized it.
Inmates in Oklahoma prisons must have advanced liver disease before becoming eligible for treatment that cures hepatitis C, a potentially deadly and growing disease. Since July 1, only five inmates have been given the drug treatment.
Despite years of concern over Oklahoma’s high rate of female incarceration, the number of women sent to prison jumped again in the latest fiscal year. One dramatic exception: Tulsa County, which sent 24 percent fewer women to state prisons. Oklahoma County sent 33 percent more.