OK inmates sue top lawmakers for alleged widespread corruption - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

OK inmates sue top lawmakers for alleged widespread corruption

OK (KSWO)- Several Oklahoma inmates, including one from Lawton's GEO prison, are suing Governor Mary Fallin, claiming widespread corruption from top Oklahoma lawmakers, as well as parole boards.

The plaintiffs claim that Oklahoma prisons are the most dangerous in the US, and add that it's more difficult for them to get paroled because the pardon and parole board that should have five people on it, usually only has four members. They are still required to get three votes in order to be paroled.

The inmates claim in the lawsuit that Oklahoma lawmakers have an interest in keeping people behind bars. The criminal justice reform advocate who dropped the lawsuit off at the governor's office says Governor Mary Fallin's relationships with two large private prison operators are behind this.

"She along with other top legislators have been incentivized by private prisons through campaign contributions and other gifts and, for that reason, she continues to lock up black and brown people and poor people. Then they close the doors and obstruct access,” explained criminal justice reform advocate Gwendolyn Fields.

Just 10 percent of eligible inmates are paroled each year in Oklahoma. The group behind the lawsuit is petitioning the US Department of Justice to intervene. They expect to have more inmates join the lawsuit over time.

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