Oklahoma Legislature takes up criminal justice reform measures (NewsOK)

A bill that would allow some nonviolent state inmates to be eligible for parole after serving one-fourth of their sentences sailed through the state House of Representatives Monday and is now headed for the Senate.

House Bill 2286 passed the House 81-3 without debate. If the Senate approves the bill, it still must come back to the House for final consideration because the title was removed.

The bill, authored by state Rep. Terry O'Donnell, R-Catoosa, is part of a package of approximately a dozen criminal justice reform measures the Oklahoma Legislature is expected to take up this week.

State Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, authored several of the other bills. Treat said he expects his chamber to take them up for consideration Tuesday and is optimistic about their chances of passage.

The reforms, recommended by a task force created by Gov. Mary Fallin, are designed to relieve overcrowding and eliminate the need for about 7,830 additional state prison beds by 2026. Without the reforms, three new prisons would be needed, costing the state about $1.9 billion in additional capital expenditures and operating costs over the next 10 years, the governor's task force said.

The 88-page bill the House passed Monday was one of the most significant of all the justice reform measures.

Read the entire article at newsok.com.

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