Oklahoma governor signs bills to reduce prison population

Oklahoma governor signs bills to reduce prison population

By The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation designed to shrink the state's prison population.

Fallin signed seven criminal justice reform bills Thursday to cut the number of nonviolent offenders in state prisons, streamline the parole process and reduce the number of repeat offenders.

The Republican governor, lawmakers and prosecutors have worked to reduce the prison population for more than a year.

Oklahoma's prison population totaled more than 27,000 on Monday, or 113 percent of capacity. That number is projected to grow 25 percent by 2026.

Among other things, the measures reduce enhanced sentences for some repeat nonviolent felony offenders, create a tiered penalty structure for felony property offenses according to value, streamline parole for nonviolent offenders and create a geriatric parole process for those over 60.

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