Measure that prepares inmates to rejoin society passes committee

Oklahoma Politics

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that works to better prepare inmates to rejoin society and the workface has passed a Senate committee.

Sen. Darrell Weaver is the Senate principal author of House Bill 1679, also known as the ‘Sarah Stitt Act.’

The measure would require the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) to identify inmates leaving custody within nine months of release and begin gathering documentation essential to helping them find employment after they leave prison.

Organizers say the measure is a compassionate approach for those who have served their time and are ready for a second chance.

“Our First Lady, Sarah Stitt, saw a gap in the process that can impede an individual’s ability to get a job, a place to live or any other number of things most of us take for granted.  This includes things like a four-year state ID card, social security card, birth certificates, vocational training and work records, and resumes,” Weaver said.  “These are basic tools which can reduce recidivism, save taxpayer dollars, and help former inmates successfully transition back into their communities.”

HB 1679 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

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