ODOC collaborating with governor’s office, nonprofits, to host inmate transition fairs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In preparation for the release of more than 700 current inmates in November, the governor’s office, several state agencies, volunteer organizations, and community partners are holding transition fairs to ease inmates’ transition to life on the outside by connecting them with the services they need in advance.

House Bill 1269 allows the Pardon and Parole Board to recommend governor commutations for non-violent felony sentences now considered misdemeanors after State Question 780 was approved by voters, bringing unprecedented opportunity for hundreds of non-violent Oklahoma inmates upon release.

Starting Oct. 10 at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security female prison, and Jess Dunn Correctional Center, a minimum-security male prison, in Taft, inmates slated for potential commutation and those nearing release will attend the first of these events.

“We want to provide these inmates every opportunity to return to society with the necessary complement of resources and tools to ensure their successful reentry and become productive citizens wherever they go,” Interim Director Scott Crow said.

The fairs will be held at 28 Oklahoma facilities to connect inmates with organizations that provide assistance with housing, transportation, employment, mentoring, health care, mental health care and other resources offenders need after release.

“It is important that we provide our inmates with the support and resources they need in order to see them successfully reintegrate into society and become contributing members of our communities,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “By hosting resource fairs within our prisons, we are working to connect inmates with information and tools to help them as they leave the criminal justice system and return to their families and friends.”

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