Oklahoma lawmaker files measure to remove roadblock for released inmates

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Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed a measure that he says would help recently released inmates get back on their feet.

Sen. Micheal Bergstrom filed Senate Bill 1107 to remove one of the roadblocks recently released inmates face as they try to enter the workforce.

The measure says if an inmate had a valid, unexpired driver’s license when they were incarcerated, that license would still be valid for up to 180 days after they are released from prison, even if that license expired while in custody.

“Society expects that when an individual is released from prison, they should get a job and strive to be a productive member of their community,” Bergstrom said.  “But a major obstacle to getting and keeping a job is not having a driver license.  SB 1107 simply says that if someone had a valid license when they entered prison, it will still be good upon release for six months.  I want to stress that this bill would not apply to anyone convicted of an offense that requires mandatory revocation of their driver license.”

Under Bergstrom’s legislation, prior to the expiration of the 180 day license, the person would be eligible to enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety to receive a provisional license if they pay $5 a month toward the outstanding fees and fines.

“By removing barriers to obtaining employment, we can reduce recidivism and help those who have served their time to become contributing members of society,” Bergstrom said.  “It’s a commonsense criminal justice measure, and I hope my fellow members will join me in supporting SB 1107.”

The measure will be considered during the 2022 regular legislative session.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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