More than 400 inmates were granted their freedom in Oklahoma on Monday, November 4th, after having their sentences commuted.
The country’s largest mass commutation happened after Gov. Kevin Stitt, along with the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, approved the releases on Friday.
Stitt has been advocating for criminal justice reform since he campaigned for governor and is pledging to overhaul policies in Oklahoma. The state currently has the highest incarceration rate in the US.
During a conference on Monday Gov. Stitt said,
“This marks an important milestone of Oklahomans wanting to focus the state’s efforts on helping those with nonviolent offenses achieve better outcomes in life. The historic commutation of individuals in Oklahoma’s prisons is only possible because our state agencies, elected officials, and partnering organizations put aside politics and worked together to move the needle.”
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will be working with the released inmates to help ensure they are successfully reintroduced back into society. These inmates were originally convicted of non-violent offenses like low-level property crimes and drug offenses, which have now been reduced to misdemeanors in the state, warranting the reduced/commuted sentences.
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