Oklahoma Releases Nearly 500 Inmates in Push to End Mass Incarceration

Nearly 500 inmates were set to be released from prison in Oklahoma on Monday. The move by state officials comes in response to a push to reduce mass incarceration in Oklahoma that was put into motion by voters in 2016.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted to recommend that the sentences for 527 state inmates be commuted by Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. Of those, 426 were scheduled to be released from custody on Monday after being processed and receiving Stitt’s signature.

“They’ve got a lot of paperwork to do,” Stitt said of the secretary of state’s office. “I’ve got to sign 450 of these this afternoon.”

Steven Bickley, the executive director of the Pardon and Parole Board, noted the significance of the move in a press release on Friday.

“This is a historical day for criminal justice reform in Oklahoma, as we send the largest single day commutation of sentences in our nation’s history to the governor’s desk,” said Bickley. “With this vote, we are fulfilling the will of Oklahomans. However, from day one, the goal of this project has been more than just the release of low level, non-violent offenders, but the successful reentry of these

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