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Oklahoma task force recommending lower sentences for some nonviolent crimes

OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma task force is recommending a reduction in criminal penalties for nonviolent drug offenders, a parole option for elderly inmates and allowing some prisoners a chance to expunge their records after going a period of time without new convictions.

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office released the recommendations from the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force on Thursday.

Click here to read the recommendations from the Oklahoma Justice Reform Task Force

With Oklahoma facing the second-highest imprisonment rate in the country, and the highest rate for women, Fallin ordered a review of the criminal justice system in August.

The 39-page report projected the recommendations would reduce Oklahoma’s prison population by nearly 9,300 beds and avoid the roughly $1.9 billion in costs it would take to build and operate more prisons.

Fallin has said that without any action, the prison population could balloon by 25 percent.