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New program may release prisoners to relieve overcrowded prisons

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

OK (KSWO)- To address the issue of overcrowded prisons, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections are considering a new program that would release certain inmates.

The program is still being developed but would allow a select group of nonviolent inmates to leave state prisons and finish their sentences in community supervised programs.

Currently, there are more than 26,000 inmates in the state's prison system.

"We have over 1,600 waiting to come in, so they've been sentenced to state prison but have not been able to receive them because simply we don't have beds," said Dr. Laura Pittman with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

About 1,500 inmates may be eligible already, but about 30 to 50 percent of those might be cut once vetting is complete. Under the proposal, eligible inmates would have to be within 18 months of release and have no convictions involving violent or sex-related crimes.

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