OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh thanked lawmakers for advancing six bills on Tuesday that will reduce the state’s projected inmate population growth.
SB 649, SB 689, SB 786, SB 793, HB 2281, and HB 2286 are expected to reduce the strain of Oklahoma’s projected prison population growth. The measures are revised from a package initially recommended by the governor’s Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force in 2016.
“The advancement of these bills is an important step in the right direction to slow our prison population growth,” Allbaugh said. “This, however, does not change the fact that the state still needs two new medium-security prisons to help us retire old, obsolete facilities.”
The package of bills will help reduce ODOC’s inmate population by an estimated 4,851 beds, The Crime and Justice Institute reports. CJI also states this would help the state avoid an estimated 67 percent increase in its inmate growth over the next decade.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 27,056 inmates in Oklahoma prisons, 1,154 in county jail backup, and 34,340 offenders under community supervision. State institutions were at 113 percent of capacity.